Schumer: Democrats Have Been Too 'Namby-Pamby,' Single-Payer Health Care Is on the Table

July 23, 2017

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said single-payer health care is among the progressive items Democrats will explore for their agenda in an interview Sunday, saying Democrats had been too "namby-pamby" in the past.

On ABC's "This Week," Schumer previewed the Democrats' "A Better Deal" agenda they are rolling out Monday as they seek to show voters they have a message beyond opposing President Donald Trump.

"Week after week, month after month, we're going to roll out specific pieces here that are quite different than the Democratic Party you heard in the past," he said. "We were too cautious. We were too namby-pamby. This is sharp, bold, and will appeal to both the old Obama coalition ... and the Democratic voters who deserted us for Trump."

Host George Stephanopoulos pointed out Schumer's colleague Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) had called for a single-payer system, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) has consistently called for Democrats to embrace the measure.

After Schumer predicted the Obamacare repeal measure being pushed by Republican leaders will not pass, he said single-payer would be among the "broader things" Democrats would look at in their agenda.

"Then we're going to look at broader things. Single-payer is one of them," Schumer said.

"So that is on the table?" ABC host George Stephanopulos said.

"Sure, many things are on the table," Schumer said. "Medicare for people above 55 is on the table. Buy into Medicare is on the table. Buy into Medicaid is on the table. On the broader issues, we will start examining them once we stabilize the system."