The Washington Post, July 30, 2015
by John Wagner
Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders highlighted his support for a single-payer health-care system — a position that separates him from his rivals for the Democratic nomination — during a Thursday rally on Capitol Hill celebrating the 50th anniversary of Medicare.
Sanders (I-Vt.) said he would introduce legislation “in the very near future” that would make health care a right, a goal he touts on the campaign trail and one that he has fought for unsuccessfully in Congress in the past.
“The time has come to say we need to expand Medicare to cover every man, woman and child as a single-payer national health-care program,” Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, said at the rally, which was organized by National Nurses United and attended by members of an array of other labor unions.
Medicare, which is available to those 65 or older, as well as younger people with disabilities, was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965. Events across the country were staged Thursday to commemorate its launch.
Although Sanders’ position is not new, it helps explain his appeal to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, and it is likely to factor into ongoing deliberations at the AFL-CIO over whom to endorse in the Democratic presidential primary.