WASHINGTON — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday proposed a government-run single-payer health care system called Medicare for All as Republicans offered a last-chance bill to repeal Obamacare by turning federal funding into block grants to states.
Neither bill is likely to be passed any time soon, several lawmakers said, but the two proposals show the deep divide in Congress over how the United States should fund and regulate medical care, hospitalization and the costs of prescription drugs.
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That divide will continue to be an issue in next year’s mid-term elections: Democrats will be forced to declare if they are for a single-payer system, and Republicans will face questions about whether they will ever repeal Obamacare.
Meanwhile, in the wake of the Senate’s failure to repeal Obamacare, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) have been holding hearings as they try to craft a bill to stabilize the shaken individual insurance markets.
Sanders, a Democrat, introduced his bill at a Capitol Hill rally with several of his 16 Democratic co-sponsors, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and scores of supporters from labor unions and other progressive…
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