Harris to co-sponsor Sanders’ single-payer bill


Sen. Kamala Harris sayd the measure is “about creating an opportunity for a larger number of people” to access good quality health care. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

OAKLAND — California’s junior senator, Kamala Harris, on Wednesday departed from the position held by the state’s senior senator, Dianne Feinstein, and announced her intention to co-sponsor Senator Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All’’ bill.

To the delight of a hometown crowd at a packed town hall meeting Wednesday in Oakland — where she was raised — Harris announced for the first time that she intended to co-sponsor “Medicare for All,’’ the single-payer health care bill which has the strong support of progressives and groups including National Nurses United, saying it was “the right thing to do.”

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But that stated position puts her at odds with Feinstein, who has publicly expressed concerns about the costs and details of single payer, and who this week at the Commonwealth Club of California said she favored a public option for health care instead.

Harris, asked about those differences at a press conference with Feinstein after the town hall, insisted that “it’s about creating an opportunity for a larger number of people” to access good quality health care.

“There’s no question that … all people should have access to affordable health care, and as we talk about moving toward a single-payer system, I think there is certainly energy and momentum toward that,’’ she told reporters. “Americans are making very clear when they defeated the repeal of ACA … that they don’t want to play politics with their health care.”

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