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Sherrod Brown: Medicare for all not 'practical'

Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSenate Democrats file ethics complaint against Hawley, Cruz over Capitol attack Facebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Biden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs 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 takes up temporary residence at Blair House Amanda Gorman captures national interest after inauguration performance Democrats formally elect Harrison as new DNC chair MORE (Calif.), Cory BookerCory BookerSenate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official Booker brings girlfriend, actress Rosario Dawson, to inauguration Officials brace for second Trump impeachment trial MORE (N.J.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden's Interior Department temporarily blocks new drilling on public lands | Group of GOP senators seeks to block Biden moves on Paris, Keystone | Judge grants preliminary approval for 0M Flint water crisis settlement Senate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee 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 TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism 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 ClintonSamantha Power's Herculean task: Turning a screw with a rubber screwdriver Beau Biden Foundation to deny lobbyist donations, make major donors public Whoopi Goldberg wears 'my vice president' shirt day after inauguration MORE when she ran for president in 2016.  

Former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonMcConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until February The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' The Memo: Biden strives for common ground after Trump turmoil 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.