Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) made a major announcement Wednesday, one that promises to open up a whole new front in the healthcare debate.
Speaking at a town hall meeting in Oakland, California, Senator Harris told the audience that she will co-sponsor single payer healthcare legislation with Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT)
“I intend to co-sponsor the ‘Medicare for All’ bill because it’s just the right thing to do” she told the crowd. “It’s not just about what is morally and ethically right, it also makes sense just from a fiscal standpoint.”
The move signals that Democrats are no longer content with simply defending the gains made under ObamaCare. Many in the progressive wing have been wanting to go on offense and take ObamaCare to the next level.
With someone of Senator Harris’ popularity not only jumping on the bandwagon, but taking the wheel, the push to single payer should pick-up momentum heading into the critical 2018 midterm elections.
Rumors have been swirling in political circles for months that Senator Harris is also seriously considering a run at the White House in 2020. She’s reportedly met with donors closely associated with Hillary Clinton on more than one occasion, and she’s spent big bucks with the same media company credited with helping Senator Bernie Sanders increase his national exposure in the early weeks and months of the 2016 Democratic Primary.
Senator Sanders’ willingness to share the spotlight with Harris sends a message to progressives who are suspicious of Democratic leaders they feel are too cozy with the party establishment, Harris in particular. That message is simple: “Back off. She’s one of us.”
With Republicans in control of both houses of congress, and the White House, don’t expect single payer legislation to make much progress any time soon, certainly not this year. But with two heavy hitting Democratic leaders championing this effort, the fight is sure to heat up.
Peter Mellado is a writer, producer, and a branding and messaging specialist with over 15 years experience. He studied history at San Jose State University, and resides in Los Angeles.