Sanders says new health-care plan shows Dems moving toward 'Medicare for all'

Sanders says new health-care plan shows Dems moving toward 'Medicare for all'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersIdentity politics and the race for the Democratic nomination 2020 Democrats barnstorm the country for MLK weekend Bill Maher defends Bernie Sanders campaign over sexual harassment allegations MORE (I-Vt.) said Monday that he thinks a new health-care plan from a Democratic think tank shows that the party is moving toward his position on health care. 

Asked if he thinks the plan from the Center for American Progress (CAP), which comes very close to Sanders’s signature idea of "Medicare for all," shows the Democratic Party is moving his way, Sanders told The Hill, "Yes, I do."

The plan released by CAP, a group with close ties to Sanders’s former primary opponent Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIdentity politics and the race for the Democratic nomination O'Rourke’s strategy: Show Americans the real Beto Conservatives pound BuzzFeed, media over Cohen report MORE, is not quite single-payer in that it still allows for employer-based insurance as an option. But it otherwise provides Medicare for all people, something very close to Sanders's vision and a leftward shift from previous major Democratic plans. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Sanders alluded to the fact that the CAP plan does not go as far as his own, but called it a "step."

He pressed his calls for universal coverage and said "I think that the most cost-effective way to do that is by expanding Medicare, eliminating the private insurance companies, and then saving tremendous amounts of money in administrative costs."

"I believe in a Medicare for all, single-payer, but to the degree that people are talking about guaranteeing health care to all people, it's a step."

The CAP plan, called Medicare Extra for All, provides for a government-run health insurance plan modeled off Medicare for all, with the exception of those who choose to remain in employer-based coverage. 

That is further than previous plans from Clinton or former President Obama, which largely called for a government-run "public option" that would compete alongside private insurers.