Inslee: ‘I Will Lead the Charge’ to End the Senate Filibuster

• April 11, 2019 9:20 am


Gov. Jay Inslee (D., Wash.) said he would "lead the charge" to end the Senate filibuster in order to get health care reform through Congress during a town hall hosted by CNN on Wednesday.

An audience member asked Inslee how he would reform America's health care system to prevent medical bankruptcy, prompting the governor to discuss some of what he has done in his state.

"As you noted in our state, Laura, we are going to be hopefully the first state to have a public option, and it's just one step forward, which would provide the state to provide a mechanism to get insurance for those who don't have access to the private markets or Medicaid. And I'm very hopeful this can be an example for the rest of the country," Inslee said.

"We will have to expand federal health care dramatically. I believe we should lower the age for Medicare, I believe we should allow people to buy into medicare so we can have Medicare for people who want it right now. I think we should explore potentially enrolling new folks into health care when they're born," Inslee added.

Inslee then said health care reform would only be possible by getting rid of the Senate filibuster.

"We are not going to be able to get health care done, or anything else for that matter unless we get rid of the filibuster," Inslee said. "And I was the first candidate in this race running for president to be very unequivocal about this. If the filibuster is still in Mitch McConnell's hand come 2021, all hope is sort of down the tubes to be able to do real significant reform. So I am telling you if I am given this high honor I will lead the charge to end this senatorial privilege, which is an ancient artifact of a bygone time."

Democratic presidential candidates are divided over what to do about the filibuster in the Senate.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has called for ending the filibuster, while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) is less certain about whether to scrap it. Likewise, Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) has said she is "conflicted." Sen. Cory Booker (I., NJ), on the other hand, has argued Democrats should "not be doing anything to mess with the strength of the filibuster."

Published under: Health Care, Jay Inslee, Senate