Senator Kamala Harris has announced that she will be co-sponsoring Bernie Sanders’ single-payer health care bill when it is introduced in September, making her the first Democratic senator to announce as much.
Harris announced her plans on Wednesday during a town hall in Oakland, California.
“Here, I’ll break some news: I intend to co-sponsor the Medicare-for-all bill, because it’s just the right thing to do,” she said, before jokingly saying at the end of the town hall that “somebody should tell my staff.”
“This is about understanding, again, that health care should be a right, not a privilege. And it’s also about being smart,” Harris said. “It is so much better that people have meaningful access to affordable health care at every stage of life, from birth on. Because the alternative is that we as taxpayers otherwise are paying huge amounts of money for them to get their health care in an emergency room. So it’s not only about what is morally and ethically right, it also makes sense from a fiscal standpoint, or if you want to talk about it as a return on investment for taxpayers.”
Sanders tweeted his appreciation for Harris’ support on Wednesday as well, writing, “Let’s make health care a right, not a privilege.”