Sherrod Brown: Medicare for all not 'practical'

Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSunday shows — New impeachment phase dominates Brown confirms he won't enter 2020 race: 'I think it's a good field' GM officially sells Ohio plant, months after Trump touted sale MORE (D-Ohio) took a shot at some of his fellow Democrats on Friday, saying that "Medicare for all" is not a practical idea.

“I know most of the Democratic primary candidates are all talking about Medicare for all. I think instead we should do Medicare at 55,” Brown said.

Brown, who may run for president himself, spoke during a roundtable discussion with the Clear Lake Chamber Of Commerce in Iowa.

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“If someone has lost her job at [age] 58 or his plant closes at 62, he should be able to buy into Medicare early. It will cost a little bit more, but to me that’s about helping people now … it’s something we might be able to get through Congress,” Brown said.

Medicare for all has been gaining traction among many progressive Democratic candidates like Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Overnight Health Care: Cigarette smoking rates at new low | Spread of vaping illness slowing | Dems in Congress push to block Trump abortion rule Democratic senators introduce bill to push ICE to stop 'overuse' of solitary confinement MORE (Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocratic senators introduce bill to push ICE to stop 'overuse' of solitary confinement Krystal Ball: Patrick's 2020 bid is particularly 'troublesome' for Warren 2020 Democrats demand action on guns after Santa Clarita shooting MORE (N.J.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Following school shooting, Biden speaks out: 'We have to protect these kids' MORE (Mass.), and some on the left view support for such legislation as a litmus test.

Brown is not historically opposed to Medicare for all as an aspiration, but he said he would rather focus on what’s practical.

“I’m not going to come and make a lot of promises like President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE did ... I’m going to talk about what’s practical and what we can make happen. And if that makes me different from the other candidates so be it,” he said.

Brown is one of the primary sponsors of “Medicare at 55” legislation in the Senate, a moderate alternative to Medicare for all that was pushed by Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJordan calls Pelosi accusing Trump of bribery 'ridiculous' DOJ watchdog won't let witnesses submit written feedback on investigation into Russia probe: report What are Republicans going to do after Donald Trump leaves office? MORE when she ran for president in 2016.  

Former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBill Clinton advises Trump to ignore impeachment: 'You got hired to do a job' GOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, Harris lead Trump in Georgia: Poll MORE also proposed expanding Medicare in 1998 by allowing certain workers between the ages of 55 and 65 to buy Medicare.  

Brown also helped write the “public option” into ObamaCare, but the provision was removed before the law was passed.

Brown has increasingly been seen as a presidential candidate since his reelection victory in November, when he easily won another term in a state that voted for President Trump in the 2016 election. 

The Ohioan has been cast as a Democrat who could win states in the industrial heartland that the party lost to Trump in 2016, such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.