U.S. Sen. Al Franken (DFL - Minn.) has announced he's cosponsoring Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I- Vt.) Medicare for All Act, which is expected to be introduced in the Senate on Wednesday.
According to Sanders' op-ed in the New York Times, "every family in America would receive comprehensive coverage, and middle-class families would save thousands of dollars a year by eliminating their private insurance costs as we move to a publicly funded program."
Sanders said the transition to the Medicare for All program would happen over four years.
"In the first year, benefits to older people would be expanded to include dental care, vision coverage and hearing aids, and the eligibility age for Medicare would be lowered to 55. All children under the age of 18 would also be covered," Sanders wrote. "In the second year, the eligibility age would be lowered to 45 and in the third year to 35. By the fourth year, every man, woman and child in the country would be covered by Medicare for All."
Sen. Franken wrote the on his Facebook page Tuesday that he's cosponsoring Sanders' bill.
Like Paul Wellstone, I’ve always believed that health care is a right for all Americans—not a privilege—and that every person in our country deserves access to the care they need. Establishing a single-payer system would be one way to achieve universal coverage, and Senator Sanders’ "Medicare for All" bill lays down an important marker to help us reach that goal. This bill is aspirational, and I’m hopeful that it can serve as a starting point for where we need to go as a country. In the short term, however, I strongly believe we must pursue bipartisan policies that improve our current health care system for all Americans—and that’s exactly what we’re doing right now in the Senate Health Committee, on which both Senator Sanders and I sit.
Sanders wrote that his bill has 15 co-sponsors and support from dozens of grass-roots groups.