When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) last introduced a single payer health care bill, in 2013, not a single senator came on board. When he introduced one on Wednesday, it had 16 Democratic co-sponsors—including many of the party’s rising stars who are weighing future presidential runs.
“I am very excited about the support the bill is getting both across the country and right here in the U.S. Senate,” enthused Sanders, flanked by several of his fellow lawmakers. “Health care must be a right, not a privilege. Today we begin a long and difficult struggle.”
Though the bill introduced this week has no chance of passing in a Republican-controlled Congress, and is more of a blueprint than a fully fleshed-out plan, the proposal and its reception show just how far the party’s base has moved to the left on health care in just a few years.
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