OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Senator Kamala Harris announced Wednesday that she would co-sponsor a bill by Senator Bernie Sanders to expand Medicare to all Americans.
Speaking at a town hall meeting in Oakland, Harris (D-California) said she is backing the "Medicare for All" bill, saying that "health care is a right."
Asking supporters to sign a petition on her website, Harris went on to say that the legislation is the "morally and ethically right thing to do" and that it makes sense "from a fiscal standpoint."
Sanders (I-Vermont) thanked Harris for supporting the legislation, saying "Let's make health care a right, not a privilege."
According to Sanders, the legislation would "create a federally administered single-payer health care program" and would allow patients to choose their own health care provider.
"Americans will benefit from the freedom and security that comes with finally separating health insurance from employment. That freedom would not only help the American people live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives, but it would also promote innovation and entrepreneurship in every sector of the economy," said a statement on Sanders' website.
Sanders estimated the plan would cost $1.38 trillion per year.
He claimed the plan would be "fully paid for" by a combination of premiums paid by employers and households, changes to the tax code impacting wealthier households, along with savings on health care expenditures.
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