Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) rolled out his official Medicare for All bill that would establish a single-payer healthcare system in the U.S. More than a dozen of his Senate colleagues supported the idea, though 33 of his other fellow Senate Democrats, which includes one independent who caucuses with Democrats, aren’t on board as co-sponsors of the legislation.
The bill would need 60 votes in order to have a chance at getting a filibuster-proof floor vote, meaning the legislation is “essentially dead-on-arrival even if all Senate Democrats(and even a few Republicans) supported it,” GritPost notes.
Even still, support for Medicare for All has been widespread among Americans in several polls. A Reuters poll in August of 2018 discovered 70 percent of Americans supported the idea, while nearly 52 percent were Republicans. A January Harvard-Harris poll recently found that 68% of Americans believed that creating “a taxpayer-funded national [health] plan, like Medicare for All” should be a top priority.
Sanders’ latest legislation seems more ambitious than other 2020 candidates’ healthcare proposals. The for-profit private health insurance industry would be eliminated and replaced with a government-funded national single-payer healthcare plan with Sanders’ bill, meaning it would cover all primary care, hospital stays, and prescription drugs for every single American.
Though taxes will increase slightly to cover the cost for the plan, majority of Americans would see cost savings, while also straying from employer-sponsored family plans, which consumes almost a third of Americans’ household income on average.
In Sanders’ previous Medicare for All bill, more Republican voters as a percentage supported it compared to Senate Democrats. There were 17 Democratic co-sponsors on the bill in October 2018, meaning less than 35% of Senators affiliated with the Democratic Party supported a proposal that 84% of Democrats and a slim majority of Republicans supported, as GritPost reported.
Sanders’ bill was recently introduced, meaning more Democrats who have yet to co-sponsor the legislation could do so in the future. However, the pharmaceutical and for-profit health insurance industries which donate to federal campaigns could begin losing profits f Sanders’ Medicare for All plan is successful. That further means their campaign spending in the 2020 cycle may continue to be just as aggressive, if not more.
According to the latest campaign finance data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, 33 Democrats received a total of $36,805,381 from those industries throughout the course of their careers.
Grit Post analyzed contributions from the pharmaceuticals/health products and insurance industries for each senator as shown on OpenSecrets.org to decide these donation amounts. “If an industry didn’t make it on a senator’s top 20 industries in donation totals, we expanded the field to 100, and totaled amounts from each individual two-year election cycle,” GritPost stated.
These were their results:
1. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colorado)
2. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
3. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington)
4. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland)
5. Senator Tom Carper (D-Delaware)
Insurance is #2 donor
Pharma is #5 donor
6. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania)
7. Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware)
8. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada)
9. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois)
10. Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Illinois)
11. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California)
12. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire)
13. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico)
14. Senator Doug Jones (D-Alabama)
15. Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia)
16. Senator Angus King (I-Maine)*
*caucuses with Democrats
17. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota)
18. Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia)
19. Senator Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey)
20. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut)
21. Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington)
22. Senator Gary Peters (D-Michigan)
23. Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island)
Insurance is #4 donor
24. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada)
25. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York)
Insurance is #4 donor
26. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire)
27. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona)
28. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minnesota)
29. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan)
30. Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana)
31. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland)
32. Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia)
33. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon)