Sanders to unveil 'Medicare for all' bill on Wednesday

Sanders to unveil 'Medicare for all' bill on Wednesday
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersProtecting democracy requires action from all of us Kavanaugh hires attorney amid sexual assault allegations: report Amazon probes allegations of employees leaking data for bribes: report MORE (I-Vt.) will unveil his “Medicare for all” bill on Wednesday, his office announced Friday.

The announcement comes as single-payer health care is gaining as a force within the Democratic Party, and Sanders’s formal announcement will move the issue further into the spotlight.

Sanders made single payer a driving force of his campaign for president last year, and is now keeping up the push.

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The advisory from his office says that Sanders will be joined by Senate co-sponsors, though does not list who they are. He will also be joined by “medical professionals, business leaders, and patients.”

The issue has emerged as a key test for 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls. Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSenate Dems sue Archives to try to force release of Kavanaugh documents The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Judd Gregg: The collapse of the Senate MORE (D-Calif.), a possible candidate, recently announced that she would back Sanders’s bill.

Other potential Democratic presidential candidates will also face pressure to take a position on the measure.

The announcement comes as some in Congress are trying for a much narrower bill aimed at simply stabilizing ObamaCare markets.

The Senate health committee is in negotiations over a bipartisan bill that would fund key ObamaCare payments to insurers while also possibly granting more flexibility to states to change regulations under the health law. 

Sanders sits on that committee, and used part his time at a hearing on Thursday to call for health care for all.

Separately, a handful of Republicans are not giving up on repeal of ObamaCare, looking to pass a bill from GOP Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyOutdated global postal system hurts US manufacturers GOP eyes another shot at ObamaCare repeal after McCain’s death Overnight Defense: Push to rename Senate building for McCain sparks GOP backlash | Pentagon has no plans to suspend future Korea war games | Mattis rejects plan to privatize Afghan War MORE (La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCriticizing Trump’s ‘unsung success’ in Puerto Rico is valid — empty rhetoric is not Biden: Delay Kavanaugh vote to give accuser a fair, respectful hearing Ken Starr says 'I trust Brett Kavanaugh' over allegations that are 'so wildly out of character' MORE (S.C.) to convert current ObamaCare spending into a block grant to states. That effort faces long odds, though.  

—Updated at 2:44 p.m.