Rising Democratic star and 2020 presidential prospect Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) announced Wednesday that she intends to co-sponsor a bill by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to create a single-payer, “Medicare for All” health care system.
I intend to co-sponsor the Medicare for All bill because it’s just the right thing to do.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 30, 2017
Harris tweeted her decision, and elaborated on it at a town hall in Oakland, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The decision comes just weeks after reports that Harris lacks support among California’s “Berniecrats,” the left-wing faction of the state Democratic Party. One said: “She’s not on our radar. … In terms of where the progressives live, I don’t think there’s any ‘there’ there.”
By joining Sanders’s legislative proposal, and embracing the left’s beloved goal of universal, government-provided health care, Harris is attempting to recruit the left to her corner ahead of the 2020 presidential campaign.
Politico notes that Harris’s proposal marks a break with the other U.S. Senator from California, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who has questioned the cost of single-payer health care. California Governor Jerry Brown has also opposed single-payer health care for the same reason, and State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) blocked a single-payer bill from coming to a vote earlier this year because it had no plan to pay for the program. (For his trouble, Rendon has been haunted by vociferous protests and even death threats.)
Sanders thanked Harris on Twitter:
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) August 30, 2017
There is no prospect of Sanders’s bill becoming law while Republicans control Congress or the White House.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.