The Seattle City Council today approved a symbolic resolution endorsing Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All bill and calling on Washington's U.S. senators to do the same.
“It is outrageous that Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, while repeatedly paying lip service to…working people, have still failed to cosponsor Medicare for All,” said Council Member Kshama Sawant, who sponsored the resolution today.
Sanders' bill, which would create a single payer insurance system to cover almost every American, is out of the question in a Republican-controlled Congress. But the issue is quickly becoming a litmus test for the left as we look ahead to 2018 and 2020. Sanders has 16 Democratic co-sponsors, including potential presidential contenders Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris.
Two Democratic senators who haven't signed on: Washington's Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray.
Sawant called rightwing attacks on healthcare “barbaric” and said leftists should “not stay on the defense but play offense.” (The council amended Sawant's resolution slightly to call out the state's entire Congressional delegation, rather than just Murray and Cantwell. The resolution passed unanimously with two council members, Bruce Harrell and Lisa Herbold, absent.)
Just like last week, our senators are still thinking on it.
A spokesperson for Cantwell told The Stranger today, "She is reviewing and looks forward to discussing with Senator Sanders." A spokesperson for Murray said, "She's considering it. She’s open to it."
"Right now, Republicans are working furiously to jam through a bill in the coming days to defund Planned Parenthood, gut Medicaid, take away protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and force families to lose coverage," the spokesperson said, "so Sen. Murray is doing everything she can to stop that, all while trying to find a bipartisan solution to lower costs for families and stabilize the markets in the near term."