Sanders to unveil 'Medicare for all' bill on Wednesday

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

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersJoaquin Castro says brother Julián is running for president in 2020 Sanders, Warren meet ahead of potential 2020 bids Senate votes to end US support for Saudi war, bucking Trump 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 HarrisJoaquin Castro says brother Julián is running for president in 2020 McCaskil 'not sure' Sanders, Harris, Warren can win Missouri in 2020 Biden, Kamala Harris pose for photo together amid 2020 speculation 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 CassidyThe Year Ahead: Drug pricing efforts to test bipartisanship GOP balks at Trump drug pricing plan Overnight Defense: Senate rebukes Trump with Yemen vote | Mattis, Pompeo briefing fails to quell Senate concerns with Saudis | Graham demands CIA briefing on Khashoggi | Pentagon identifies three troops killed in Afghanistan MORE (La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate votes to end US support for Saudi war, bucking Trump Former FBI official says Mueller won’t be ‘colored by politics’ in Russia probe GOP-controlled Senate breaks with Trump on Saudi vote 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.