Kevin de Leon Vows to Back Medicare for All, Signaling Key Issue in 2018 Senate Campaign

State Senate leader Kevin de León’s opening salvo in the U.S. Senate race against Sen. Dianne Feinstein takes on one of the main frustrations progressives have voiced with her, a refusal to support single-payer health care.

“I believe that every family, it doesn’t make a difference who you are or where you come from, deserves to have quality healthcare. It is a universal right,” De León says in a video released by his campaign Wednesday. “It’s not the exclusive privilege of the elite and the wealthy.”

The concept of single-payer healthcare has grown in popularity among Democrats since the 2016 election, with some members of the so-called Sanders wing of the party urging Democrats to use support for it as a litmus test in 2018.

Such a program is unlikely to become law while Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

Feinstein has said she doesn’t support expanding Medicare to the entire population “at this stage” and has cited the cost of doing so as a reason.

If he were elected, De León would join Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and 15 other Democratic Senators as co-sponsors of the bill proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

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