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The Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act over the summer energized the pro-Medicare for All movement.

The Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act over the summer energized the pro-Medicare for All movement. (Photo: Molly Adams/Flickr/cc)

Here Are the 39 Senate Democrats (and Angus King) Still Not Backing Medicare For All

While seven Democrats have now signed on as co-sponsors of Bernie Sanders' bill, most have remained on the sidelines

Julia Conley

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will introduce his Medicare for All bill on the Senate floor on Wednesday, a plan that he has said will cost the U.S. $6 trillion less than the current healthcare system. Medicare for All has gained support in recent months among Democrats following Sanders's promotion of the proposal during the 2016 campaign, and the unveiling and subsequent failure of the Republican healthcare plan, which would have eliminated health coverage for up to 32 million Americans.
As of this writing Monday afternoon, seven members of the Senate Democratic Caucus had announced they would sign on as co-sponsors of the bill:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)

The following 40 members of the caucus, which includes Maine's independent senator Angus King, have yet to publicly announce their co-sponsorship or official support of the bill:
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) 
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) 
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) 
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) 
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) 
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.)Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) 
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.)Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) 
Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) 
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.)Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) 
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.)Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) 
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) 
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) 
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) 
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) 
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.)Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) 
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) 
Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.)Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) 
Sen. Martin Heinreich (D-N.M.)Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) 
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.)Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) 
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) 
 Gillibrand has said she intends to announce her support for the bill on Wednesday, while Leahy was rumored to be planning a co-sponsorship of the bill. While those who have pledged their public support of the plan are still in a small minority, the fact that Democratic senators appear to feel mounting pressure to back Medicare for All demonstrates the success of the progressive campaign to make universal healthcare part of the Democratic platform. Writing in Vox last week, Dylan Matthews described the caucus's public shift in favor of universal healthcare since the beginning of the Trump administration as a "stunning" development. He wrote:
Over time, some issues become so widely accepted within a party as to be a de facto requirement for anyone aspiring to lead it. No Democrat would run for president, or even for House or Senate minority leader, without supporting the DREAM Act. No Republican would try for a leadership position without supporting repeal of the estate tax.

And the way things are going, soon no Democratic leader will be able to oppose single-payer.

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