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Elizabeth Warren said she’d co-sponsor single-payer health care with Bernie Sanders

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Updated September 07, 2017 07:59 PM EDT

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has now become the second co-sponsor of Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) proposed bill to implement a single-payer health insurance system.

"I believe it's time to take a step back and ask: what is the best way to deliver high quality, low cost health care to all Americans?" Warren said in a statement Thursday. "Everything should be on the table, and that's why I'm co-sponsoring Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All bill that will be introduced later this month."

Warren is the second lawmaker to co-sponsor Sanders' measure. A few weeks ago, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) announced her support for the bill.

“Here, I’ll break some news: I intend to co-sponsor the ‘Medicare for All’ bill, because it’s just the right thing to do,” she said, according to CNN.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) says she will co-sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) bill for implementing a single-payer health insurance system.

“Here, I’ll break some news: I intend to co-sponsor the ‘Medicare for All’ bill, because it’s just the right thing to do,” she said late Wednesday, according to CNN.

“This is about understanding, again, that health care should be a right, not a privilege,” Harris added during a town hall in Oakland, California. “And it’s also about being smart.”

Harris, who is the first Democrat to publicly back Sanders’ measure, said her decision is both a moral and practical one.

“It is so much better than people have meaningful access to affordable health care at every stage of life, from birth on,” she said.

“Because the alternative is that we as taxpayers otherwise are paying huge amounts of money for them to get their health care in an emergency room,” Harris continued.

“So it’s not only about what is morally and ethically right, it also makes sense from a fiscal standpoint, or if you want to talk about it as return on investment for taxpayers.”

Sanders, who competed in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, thanked Harris for her support late Wednesday.

CNN reported that Harris’s backing may clear the way for more Democrats to embrace Sanders’ bill before its introduction in September.

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Harris is seen as a future star among Democrats and a prospect for the party’s presidential nomination in 2020.

The California senator’s move is one of several signs the Democratic Party is increasingly receptive to government-run health insurance rather than a private market version.

The issue could potentially become a major factor in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary by splitting progressive candidates who back the concept and more traditional ones who don’t.

Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, criticized Sanders’s single-payer proposal before losing the White House to President Trump last November.

“[It’s] a theoretical debate about some better idea that will never, ever come to pass,” she said in January 2016.

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