Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) on Monday announced they would co-sponsor the “Medicare-for-all” bill being introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
“This is something that’s got to happen. ObamaCare was a first step in advancing this country, but I won’t rest until every American has a basic security that comes with having access to affordable health care,” Booker told NJTV News.
“You should not be punished because you are working-class or poor and be denied health care. I think health care should be a right to all.”
Sen. Jeff Merkley concurred, saying that health care should be right for all, not a privilege for few.
“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.
“Right now, our health care system is incredibly complex, fragmented, and stressful. It would be terrific to have a simple, seamless system where, solely by virtue of living in America, you know that you will get the care you need.”
Merkley said the country has made “tremendous strides” in expanding access to health care.
“But many Americans still are rightfully frustrated by the cost and complexity of our current system,” he said.
“It’s time to simplify health care and lower patients’ costs, and embrace Medicare for All.”
Sanders on Monday thanked Merkley on Twitter for the support.
“Thank you @SenJeffMerkley for joining us in the fight to make Medicare for all a reality,” the Vermont senator said.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) September 11, 2017
In addition to Booker and Merkley, Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Kamala Harris (Calif.) are supporting Sanders’s legislation.
The bill is scheduled to be rolled out on Wednesday.