Senate Democrats are not going to play into Senator Steve Daines’s effort to divide the party on the issue of single-payer healthcare, a spokesman for Senator Bernie Sanders, told Vox Wednesday.
“The Democratic caucus will not participate in the Republicans’ sham process. No amendment will get a vote until we see the final legislation and know what bill we are amending,” Josh Miller-Lewis said in a text to Vox’s Jeff Stein.
“Once Republicans show us their final bill, Senator Sanders looks forward to getting a vote on his amendment that makes clear the Senate believes that the United States must join every major country and guarantee health care as a right, not a privilege.” he added.
Daines introduced an amendment Wednesday night that would establish a government-funded healthcare system. To be sure, Daines does not support single-payer healthcare. Rather, the amendment was a political maneuver to reveal internal strife among Democrats, who are divided in their support for such a system.
Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who caucuses with the Democrats, has been among Congress’s most vocal and fervent supporters of so-called “Medicare for all”.
Some Senate Democrats have begun to move their support toward a government-funded healthcare system, such as Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. But the party is still far from united on the issue, and Democratic lawmakers have focused primarily on opposing Republicans attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.