“President Trump, come on board. Let’s work together”
For seven years, the Republican Party has rallied around the cry to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. But on Friday, their replacement plan—which would result in 24 million Americans losing coverage—died in the House due to lack of Republican support. In the wake of Donald Trump and Paul Ryan’s health care fiasco, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders announced he’s introducing a bill that will cover every American.
Friday night on MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes, Sanders recognized the GOP’s failure as an opening to move Americans toward a more progressive health care system. “We have got to have the guts to take on the insurance companies and the drug companies and move forward toward a Medicare-for-all, single-payer program,” Senator Sanders told Hayes. “And I’ll be introducing legislation shortly to do that.”
The next day, at a rally in his home state of Vermont, Sanders doubled down on the promise in a speech to his constituents. “It is a common sense proposal, and I think once the American people understand it, we can go forward with it,” Sanders said to loud applause. At the rally, Sanders shared the stage with Vermont Rep. Peter Welch. “In this Congress, we won’t pass it,” Welch said. “But I think (what) we have to do (is) keep the goal out there, because we need in this country, like any industrialized country, a health care system that’s affordable, accessible, and universal.”
A Medicare-for-all, single-payer plan would essentially extend the coverage enjoyed by America’s seniors and the disabled to every citizen. A recent poll by Pew Research found that 60 percent of Americans (85 percent of Democrats, 32 percent of Republicans) believe the government should be responsible for ensuring health care coverage for all Americans—the highest point in nearly a decade. Although Sanders’ plan won’t stand a chance against the Republican majority, the recent focus on the future of health care could generate more support for a single-payer system.