Warren Officially Joins Sanders on Single Payer: 'It's Time to Fight for Medicare for All'

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Warren Officially Joins Sanders on Single Payer: 'It's Time to Fight for Medicare for All'

"The American people have made it clear that they believe healthcare is a basic human right."

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) speaks at a rally to oppose the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and its replacement on Capitol Hill on June 21, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) speaks at a rally to oppose the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and its replacement on Capitol Hill on June 21, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Astrid Riecken/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) announced Thursday that she will co-sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) Medicare for All legislation, calling it "the best way to deliver high quality, low cost healthcare to all Americans."

"There is something fundamentally wrong when one of the richest and most powerful countries on the planet can't make sure that a person can afford to see a doctor when they're sick," Warren wrote in a blog post on her website. "Healthcare is a basic human right—and it's time to fight for it."

"There is something fundamentally wrong when one of the richest and most powerful countries on the planet can't make sure that a person can afford to see a doctor when they're sick."
—Sen. Elizabeth Warren
With her announcement, Warren becomes the second Democratic senator to officially endorse Sanders' legislation, which is reportedly set to be introduced next week. As Common Dreams reported, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) announced at a town hall last week that she plans to co-sponsor Sanders' bill, saying "it's the right thing to do."

Warren had previously expressed support for moving toward a single-payer system. In a June interview with the Wall Street Journal, Warren called Medicare for All the obvious "next step," given the flaws of the current for-profit system.

In her blog post on Thursday, Warren acknowledges Obamacare's achievements, from covering millions of Americans to barring insurance companies from "denying people with preexisting conditions." But around 28 million people in the U.S. remain uninsured, and Warren writes that there is much progress to be made, from "ending health insurance company price gouging" to "cut[ting] the cost of prescription drugs by importing drugs from Canada, where the same prescription can sometimes cost far less than in the U.S."

Warren argued single payer is the "one way" to achieve these objectives, and to ensure that all Americans are guaranteed healthcare as a right.

The fight for Medicare for All will be "tough," Warren notes, as "giant insurance and drug companies will send out their army of lobbyists to fight...every step of the way."

But popular support, Warren concludes, is on the side of single payer.

"The American people have made it clear that they believe healthcare is a basic human right," Warren writes.

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