Kamala Harris: 'I Intend to Co-Sponsor the Medicare for All Bill'

Sen. Kamala Harris / Getty Images
August 30, 2017

Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) announced Wednesday night that she intends to co-sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I., Vt.) Medicare for All bill.

The announcement came during a town hall on Wednesday evening, the Hill reports.

"I intend to co-sponsor the Medicare for All bill because it's just the right thing to do," Harris said.

"This is part of our ongoing fight to make very clear this shouldn't be a partisan issue," she said. "Babies are not born with something that says they're a Democrat or a Republican ... this is about understanding health care should be a right, and not a privilege."

Harris also defended the move as fiscally responsible.

"But it's also about being smart. It's so much better people have meaningful access to affordable health care at every stage from birth on because the alternative is we as taxpayers otherwise are paying huge amounts of money for them to get their health care in an emergency room," she said. "It's not only about what's morally and ethically right; it also just makes sense from a fiscal standpoint or a return on investment for taxpayers."

Harris repeated part of her statement in a tweet Wednesday evening.

Previously, Harris had said that she supported single payer health care "as a concept."

"As a concept, I'm completely in support of single pay," she said, quickly adding that "we've got to work out the details, and the details matter on that."

Sanders tweeted his thanks to Harris shortly after her tweet.

"Thank you @KamalaHarris for your support. Let's make health care a right, not a privilege," he wrote.

"You're seeing more and more movement toward 'Medicare for All,'" Sanders said earlier this week. "When the people are saying we need health care for everyone, as more and more Americans come on board, it will become politically possible."

Harris, a first-term senator, is rumored to be considering a run for the presidency in 2020. Her campaign has rented office space in Washington, D.C., and on Tuesday she tied herself to former President Barack Obama by signing on to a solicitation from his campaign organization, Organizing for Action.