Have any US Senate or House-of-Representatives members introduced a bill mandating a universal, single-payer health care system? Say, over the past 5 years? I've heard a lot of talk about how this is gathering support, but has anyone put his/her signature on that as a bill introduced in one of the houses?

(I realize the chances of it passing have been small, but that's not what I'm asking.)

2 Answers 2


Medicare for All bill from John Conyers in the House of Representatives. It currently has 113 cosponsors. It was introduced in January of 2017.

The Senate can't introduce its own bill, as this will require tax changes. They can only modify tax bills sent to them from the House. And since the Republicans control the Senate, that means that the Democrats could only propose it as an amendment to some House bill sent to the Senate.

There have been at least four single payer proposals at the state level. The one in Vermont got the farthest, but they decided it was too expensive. More recently New York, Colorado, and California have been considering it. Unless/until the Democrats take back the presidency and Congress, the state level is more feasible than the federal level.

  • At the state level I know there have been bills. Although it seems that in California some Democratic party official has decided to shelve it.
    – einpoklum
    Jul 8, 2017 at 8:09

Elizabeth Warren has recently been drumming up support for single payer. This is the only recent movement on the issue that I am aware of

As the GOP attempts to slash Medicaid and repeal Obamacare in Congress, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is barnstorming her state of Massachusetts, advocating for a single payer system that should, in her mind, be wholly adopted by the Democratic Party.

Democrats in general have stayed away from single payer in general. In 2009, Bernie Sanders introduced a single payer bill during the debates that lead to Obamacare.

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    +1 for the Sanders bill, but -1 for the focus on Warren's rhetoric which, all other things aside, is not an introduction of a bill (nor even a concrete plan to author a bill and introduce it within X time).
    – einpoklum
    Jul 8, 2017 at 0:32
  • @einpoklum As I said, there's just not enough enthusiasm for doing that, considering the problems with Obamacare at present. Warren and Sanders are the only ones carrying this flame in any open capacity.
    – Machavity
    Jul 8, 2017 at 0:35

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