Live coverage: Sanders rolls out single-payer bill

The Hill will be providing live updates as Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersWarren joins Sanders in support of striking McDonald's workers Kavanaugh allegations could be monster storm brewing for midterm elections      Senate approves 4B spending bill MORE (I-Vt.) introduces his "Medicare for all" bill on Wednesday.

Single-payer unveiling wraps up

3 p.m.

The Senate Democrats' press conference to unveil a single-payer health-care plan has concluded, with supporters dispersing around the room. Several chants began again as Sanders departed.

Read more about the single-payer plan here.

Dem senator makes case for single-payer in personal terms

2:50 p.m

Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoBlumenthal: Kavanaugh nomination should be withdrawn Hirono to men: 'Shut up and step up' Hirono: Dems could keep SCOTUS seat vacant for two years MORE (D-Hawaii) evoked a personal story when discussing her support for single-payer health care.

"We're all one diagnosis away from a major illness," said Hirono, who was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer earlier this year.

Hirono said she was lucky to have health care while echoing the refrain used by many single-payer supporters — that health care is a right and not a privilege.

Warren: 'We will go further' than protecting ObamaCare

2:45 p.m.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOn The Money: Senate approves 4B spending bill | China imposes new tariffs on billion in US goods | Ross downplays new tariffs: 'Nobody's going to actually notice' Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Warren joins Sanders in support of striking McDonald's workers MORE (D-Mass.) said Democrats would continue to defend ObamaCare but would "go further" to ensure that everyone has health insurance.

"We will not back down in our protection of the Affordable Care Act," she said. "We will defend it at every turn, but we will go further and say in this country everyone, everyone gets a right to basic health care." 

Warren's comment came a day after Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declined to endorse the “Medicare for all" plan. Pelosi said she was focused on protecting ObamaCare.

Schumer said Tuesday at a weekly press conference: "Democrats believe that health care is a right for all, and there are many different bills out there. There are many good ones.”

Sanders to GOP: 'Don't lecture us on health care'

2:35 p.m.

Sanders drew a direct contrast between how he aims to sell his plan and the Republican bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare, which drew criticism even from within the GOP for being written behind closed doors.

The Independent Vermont senator said he plans to get feedback from people around the country on his legislation.

“To my Republican colleagues, please don’t lecture us on health care,” Sanders said.

The Universal Medicare program would be rolled out over a four-year period, with the eligibility age dropping each year until every U.S. resident is eligible. 

Children younger than age 18 would automatically be eligible for coverage within the first year of the program. 

Sanders said taxes would go up, but that would be offset by the "elimination of private insurance costs."  

Sanders: Families better off without private insurance bill

2:25 p.m.

Sanders kicked off his speech by stressing a familiar argument he has made: Health care in America must be a right and not a privilege.

"‘We’re here to tell those families and people all across this country that under 'Medicare for all,' the average American family will be much better off financially than under the current system because you will no longer be writing checks to private insurance companies," he said.

On prescription drugs, Sanders said the government will negotiate prices in an effort to make them cheaper.

He also argued that employees won’t have to be stuck in jobs they don’t want because they’re afraid of losing health insurance, while one supporter said, “exactly, exactly.”

White House spokesperson rips 'horrible' single-payer plan

2:22 p.m.

While Democrats were unveiling their single-payer plan on Capitol Hill, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders ripped the plan as a "horrible idea."

"I can't think of anything worse than having government being more involved in your health care," the Trump spokeswoman said during the daily White House briefing.

Sanders enters to cheers at presser

2:03 p.m.

Sanders entered his press conference to cheers, with several supporters standing up and chanting “Medicare for all.”

“The American people want to know what we’re going to do to fix a dysfunctional health care system, which costs us twice as much” per person as any other country, Sanders said.

He then announced the names of the 16 Democratic cosponsors of his legislation.

When Sanders last released a single-payer plan in 2013, no other senators signed onto the legislation.

Sanders releases bill

1:46 p.m. 

Sanders's "Medicare for all" bill has been released ahead of his press conference outlining the plan. The materials released include a document on ways to finance the single-player plan, which critics have previously derided as too expensive. 

Line forms for spot in hearing room

1:35 p.m.

More than two dozen people are waiting in line to file into the hearing room, some with "Medicare for all, health care is a right" signs in hand.

Reporters and staff are roaming the room in the Hart Senate office building, which is usually used for hearings, and is adorned with two "Health Care is a Right" signs in spots where senators would usually sit to grill witnesses. 

Sanders to have plenty of company at presser

1:30 p.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will be joined by other Democratic senators when he introduces his "Medicare for all" bill on Wednesday.

The guests will include a number of other senators who like Sanders are seen as potential White House candidates in 2020. The group includes Democratic Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Dems sue Archives to try to force release of Kavanaugh documents Judd Gregg: The collapse of the Senate Dems engage in last-ditch effort to block Kavanaugh MORE (N.J.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandEx-GOP donor urges support for Dems in midterms: 'Democracy is at stake' Overnight Energy: Warren bill would force companies to disclose climate impacts | Green group backs Gillum in Florida gov race | Feds to open refuge near former nuke site Former Virginia Gov. McAuliffe to visit Iowa, fueling 2020 speculation MORE (N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSenate Democrats: Kavanaugh’s classmate must testify Kamala Harris on Kavanaugh accuser: ‘I believe her’ Senate Dems sue Archives to try to force release of Kavanaugh documents MORE (Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.). 

The popularity of the single-payer issue on the left may make it difficult for Democrats interested in a White House run to not offer the backing — a remarkable change from 2013 when no co-sponsors emerged on a similar Sanders offering. 

Other co-sponsors of the bill are Democratic Sens. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinPoll: Democrats inch forward in Wisconsin Primary turnout soars in 2018 with Dems leading charge Senate rankings: 10 seats most likely to flip MORE (Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart Franken#MeToo era shows there's almost never only one accuser, says Hill.TV's Krystal Ball Hypocrisy in Kavanaugh case enough to set off alarms in DC GOP in striking distance to retake Franken seat MORE (Minn.), Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichElection Countdown: What to watch in final primaries | Dems launch M ad buy for Senate races | Senate seats most likely to flip | Trump slump worries GOP | Koch network's new super PAC Rand Paul endorses Gary Johnson's Senate bid The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s legal jeopardy mounts after Manafort, Cohen felony counts MORE (N.M.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyKavanaugh allegations set stage for Anita Hill sequel Senate Dems sue Archives to try to force release of Kavanaugh documents Dems engage in last-ditch effort to block Kavanaugh MORE (Vt.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOvernight Defense: Mattis dismisses talk he may be leaving | Polish president floats 'Fort Trump' | Dem bill would ban low-yield nukes Dems introduce bill to ban low-yield nukes Some employees' personal data revealed in State Department email breach: report MORE (Mass.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Energy: Warren bill would force companies to disclose climate impacts | Green group backs Gillum in Florida gov race | Feds to open refuge near former nuke site Warren wants companies to disclose more about climate change impacts DHS transferred about 0M from separate agencies to ICE this year: report MORE (Ore.), Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzOvernight Energy: Warren bill would force companies to disclose climate impacts | Green group backs Gillum in Florida gov race | Feds to open refuge near former nuke site Warren wants companies to disclose more about climate change impacts Congress just failed our nation’s veterans when it comes to medical marijuana MORE (Hawaii), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenSome employees' personal data revealed in State Department email breach: report Dems seek ways to block Trump support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen Hillicon Valley: Trump signs off on sanctions for election meddlers | Russian hacker pleads guilty over botnet | Reddit bans QAnon forum | FCC delays review of T-Mobile, Sprint merger | EU approves controversial copyright law MORE (N.H.), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallTrump administration weakens methane pollution standards for drilling on public lands Senate Dems want DOJ review of Giuliani's work for foreign entities McCain's former chief of staff considering Senate bid as Democrat MORE (N.M.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate Dems sue Archives to try to force release of Kavanaugh documents Dems call on Senate to postpone Kavanaugh vote Dems play waiting game with Collins and Murkowski MORE (R.I.).