Sen. Kamala Harris, the California Democrat considered a potential 2020 presidential hopeful, aligned herself with the liberal wing of her party this week by endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders’ single-payer health care proposal – multitrillion-dollar price tag and all.
Harris told constituents at a town hall in Oakland that she planned to co-sponsor Sanders’ forthcoming “Medicare for All” bill, explaining that it was “just the right thing to do.”
“It’s not just about what is morally and ethically right, it also makes sense from a fiscal standpoint,” Harris said Wednesday.
Last month, Harris said that she supported the single-payer system as a “concept,” but that lawmakers needed to “work out the details.” Her announcement to co-sponsor Sanders’ bill is the first time she has publicly supported a single-payer plan.
Under this European-style health care system, the government is solely responsible for covering health care costs. Sanders, I-Vt., rolled out an earlier version of his proposal during the Democratic presidential primaries in 2016.
At the time, he initially estimated the plan would cost $13.8 trillion over the first 10 years. But according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Urban Institute, the single-payer system would cost the federal government more like $32 trillion over the first decade, requiring an average annual…