Six U.S. Senators are now championing a bill for socialized medicine in the United States of America.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D.-N.Y., have declared their intentions to become the latest co-sponsors of a “Medicare for all” bill being introduced into the Senate by former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. The bill would create a national single-payer health care system in the U.S.
“Health care should be a right for every single American, not a privilege reserved for the healthy and the wealthy,” Merkley said in a statement explaining his support for the legislation. He and Gillibrand join fellow Democrats Cory Booker, D-N.J., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., in support of Sanders’ legislation. All three are speculative candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Senator Sanders thanked Merkley for his support.
It’s not just the Senate. A companion bill in the U.S. House introduced by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., has attracted 177 Democratic co-sponsors, nearly two-thirds of the caucus.
Why the surge in popularity for socialized medicine among Democrats? Pushing for a single-payer system was once a third rail of American politics. Democratic activists believe the GOP’s failed attempt to repeal Obamacare has strengthened the resolve of the nation’s leftists.
Working Families Party national director Dan Cantor told CNN, “In the end, the biggest impact of the Republicans' attack on health care may be this: It has strengthened the resolve of many, many Americans to fight for health care for all.”
The Overton window has shifted. The Republicans’ self-inflicted defeat and their unwillingness to keep their Obamacare repeal promises have opened the door for a push for single-payer health care. Conservatives warned that Obamacare was always a stepping stone towards a single-payer system. With our health insurance markets collapsing under Obamacare’s weight, the Democrats are seizing the opportunity, as they always do, to push the country further left.
Is there an opposition party competent enough to stop them?
Editor's note: This article has been updated to include Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.