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Sherrod Brown: Medicare for all not 'practical'

Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBrown says Biden's first moves as president should be COVID relief, voting rights Senators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session Sunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day 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 HarrisHarris blasts GOP for confirming Amy Coney Barrett: 'We won't forget this' GOP Senate confirms Trump Supreme Court pick to succeed Ginsburg The painstaking, state-by-state fight to protect abortion access MORE (Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocratic senators unveil bill to ban discrimination in financial services industry Obama endorses Espy in Mississippi Senate race Durbin says he will run for No. 2 spot if Dems win Senate majority MORE (N.J.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenAll fracked up: Biden's Keystone State breakdown What do Google, banks and chicken salad have in common? Final debate: War Admiral vs. Seabiscuit 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 TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote 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 ClintonHouse Judiciary Republicans mockingly tweet 'Happy Birthday' to Hillary Clinton after Barrett confirmation Hillary Clinton tweets 'vote them out' after Senate GOP confirm Barrett CNN: Kayleigh McEnany praised Biden as 'man of the people' in 2015 MORE when she ran for president in 2016.  

Former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden face off for last time on the debate stage Trump expected to bring Hunter Biden's former business partner to debate Davis: On eve of tonight's debate — we've seen this moment in history before 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.