Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) is working on a bill that would allow companies and individuals to purchase Medicare coverage on Obamacare exchanges. Murphy’s proposal is a more conservative approach than Sanders’ Medicare-for-all plan, which Murphy suggests could pave the way for Sanders’ single-payer plan. If Murphy is successful, Democrats will be able to campaign on Sanders’ single payer healthcare plan without alienating the party’s base in next year’s midterms.
Senator Sanders (I-VT) who may run again for the nation’s highest office in 2020, is using the Republican’s failure to repeal or replace Obamacare as an opening to introduce his proposal for a single-payer system. Murphy assured that he is not competing against Sanders who has set an important marker for what the Democratic Party wants the healthcare system to become.
Murphy recently told Politico that the party doesn’t plan to pass single-payer health care legislation in the near future as they first need to find a way to get there.
Sanders’ Single-Payer Plan Backed by High-Profile Dems
But Murphy probably will not be able to sway Sanders’ die-hard supporters and his bill will likely be overshadowed by the Vermont Senator’s single-payer effort. Sanders’ bill already has the support of Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Murphy, on the other hand, is a new face in Washington and has not had experience getting smeared by Republicans in the health care debate. In July, Republicans failed to bring a single-payer vote in the Senate as nearly all Democrats thought the effort was a trap.
The GOP now plans to use Sanders’ health care proposal against the Democrats in the midterms especially in states won by Trump. So, Murphy’s plan could save more vulnerable Democrats from a rough landing next year.
Murphy unveiled that he first plans to gather support for a Medicare expansion and then introduce the new legislation this fall. Expanding Medicare will prepare it to cover younger people, which is what Sanders wants.
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