Former President Obama on Friday called “Medicare for all” a “good” idea during a speech in Illinois where he launched his midterm campaign efforts for Democrats.
“Democrats aren’t just running on good, old ideas like a higher minimum wage. They’re running on good, new ideas like Medicare for all,” Obama said.
Obama and establishment Democrats rejected the premise of Medicare for all and single-payer health care during his eight years in the White House. But Obama previously supported single-payer when he was a senator from Illinois.
The idea has gained momentum in the party following the insurgent presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in 2016.
Now, 16 Democrats in the Senate are co-sponsors on Sanders’s Medicare for all legislation.
Sanders’s proposal would provide health care to everyone in the U.S. through Medicare, the federal health insurance program that is currently for adults ages 65 and older.