Sherrod Brown: Medicare for all not 'practical'

Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment On The Money: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency | Tech giants on defensive at antitrust hearing | Democrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses Hillicon Valley: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency plan | Trump vows to 'take a look' at Google's ties to China | Google denies working with China's military | Tech execs on defensive at antitrust hearing | Bill would bar business with Huawei 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 Harris2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally Biden's health care gaffe shows he's not ready for prime time The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP MORE (Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony Booker2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations MORE (N.J.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenNew CDC overdose estimates are nothing to celebrate 2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally Democratic Houston councilwoman announces Senate bid 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 TrumpAmash responds to 'Send her back' chants at Trump rally: 'This is how history's worst episodes begin' McConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Trump blasts 'corrupt' Puerto Rico's leaders amid political crisis 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 ClintonHillary Clinton slams Trump rally: 'The time has come again' to fight for democracy Trump blasts minority Democrats, rally crowd chants 'send her back' The Memo: Democrats debate Trump response – 'Being righteous and losing sucks' MORE when she ran for president in 2016.  

Former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonMilitary spending has many points of contention: Closing overseas bases isn't one of them More adult Twitter users follow Obama than Trump: survey Pro-impeachment Democrats wary of Al Green's floor vote push 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.