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California Democrats

Will Bernie Sanders' push for 'Medicare for All' help or hinder the California effort for single-payer?

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) (Michael Reynolds / European Pressphoto Agency)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) (Michael Reynolds / European Pressphoto Agency)

When Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders visited Beverly Hills last May, he made a full-throated appeal for California to “lead the country” and pass a pending state proposal to establish single-payer healthcare.

On Friday, he’ll return to California for a San Francisco speech trumpeting his own higher-stakes plan — a bill to drastically overhaul the nation’s healthcare system by covering everyone through Medicare.

The push for single-payer, in which the government pays for residents’ medical care, has already rattled California’s political landscape. Now, the Sanders measure brings an additional jolt, elevating the issue to a national debate that has implications for the future direction of the Democratic Party and early jockeying in the 2020 presidential race.

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