Democrats open to single-payer health insurance, a party leader says

PHOTO: Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer pauses during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., July 18, 2017. PlayAndrew Harnik/AP
WATCH Senate minority leader: GOP health care plan is 'rotten to the core'

The Democratic Party will consider proposing a single-payer health insurance system, said Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.

“We’re going to look at broader things [for the nation’s health care system]. Single-payer is one of them,” he said to ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” on Sunday.

Schumer, the Senate minority leader, added, “Many things are on the table. Medicare for people above 55 is on the table. A buy-in to Medicare is on the table. Buy-in to Medicaid is on the table.”

The Senate’s Republican leadership may hold a vote this week to start debate on its health care bill, but Schumer said he doesn’t believe that the GOP plan, which he said is “rotten to the core,” will pass.

He previewed his party’s new economic agenda, dubbed A Better Deal, which he said will be rolled out Monday.

“This is sharp, bold and will appeal to both the old Obama coalition and the Democratic voters who deserted us for [Donald] Trump,” Schumer said.

According to the most recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, only 37 percent of Americans surveyed say the Democratic Party “stands for something,” while 52 percent believe that the party stands only for opposing President Trump.

Schumer told Stephanopoulos that the Democrats made a mistake in the 2016 presidential election of not making clear what they represent.

“The No. 1 thing we did wrong is we didn’t tell people what we stood for,” the senator said. “When you lose an election, you look yourself in the mirror and say, ‘What did we do wrong?’”

The party’s new economic agenda is an effort to set out a plan for the country that is not “left or right” but for everyone, he said.

The economic plan is “just the beginning,” Schumer said. “Week after week, month after month, we’re going to roll out specific pieces here that are quite different than the Democratic Party you heard in the past.”