Amid soaring support for Medicare for All at the grassroots and among Democratic lawmakers, Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) is attempting to “troll” Democrats by proposing a single-payer amendment during the debate over his party’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The effort, according to the Washington Examiner, is an attempt to both expose divisions within the Democratic Party and “force vulnerable Democratic senators running for re-election in red states in 2018 to take a position” on single payer.
“I believe that Bernie will take any and all opportunities to fight for single payer.”
—RoseAnn DeMoro, National Nurses UnitedBut the most prominent backer of Medicare for All in the Senate—Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—has no plans to play along with the Republicans’ political stunt.
“We must guarantee healthcare as a right,” Sanders wrote in a Facebook post, “but we will not participate in their sham.”
“No amendment will get a vote until we see the final legislation and know what bill we are amending,” Sanders spokesperson Josh Miller-Lewis added in a statement. “Once Republicans show us their final bill, Sen. Sanders looks forward to getting a vote on his amendment that makes clear the Senate believes that the United States must join every major country and guarantee healthcare as a right, not a privilege.”
The Senate is expected to vote Thursday on the so-called “skinny repeal” proposal, which the Congressional Budget Office estimated would leave 16 million more Americans uninsured. Resistance groups have argued that this scaled back repeal plan is a last-ditch effort by Republicans desperate to come away from the debate with tangible progress toward their longstanding goal of eliminating the ACA.
Many prominent Democrats, in the face of Republican efforts to dismantle the ACA, have responded to popular pressure by publicly endorsing Medicare for All as the most viable alternative to the current for-profit status quo.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT