People rally in favor of a single-payer healthcare proposal in California.

People rally in favor of a single-payer healthcare proposal in California.

Senator Bernie Sanders’ new bill creating a “Medicare for all” system in the United States isn’t the first piece of legislation to propose a single-payer system in the United States. But it could become the most popular.

More than a dozen Senate Democrats support Sanders’ bill. And in the House, most Democrats support a similar measure.

For years, single-payer was a non-starter in Congress, but that may no longer be the case, as public support continues to climb for a single national health care plan.

Majority says government has responsibility to ensure health coverage for all

And support is especially strong among young Americans:

More support for single payer among those under 30 than older adults

Before the debate on the new bill begins, we look at just what the legislation would do, how it compares to other countries’ health care systems and what it would take to make such a drastic shift in America’s health policy.


  • Margot Sanger-Katz Correspondent at The New York Times. She covers healthcare for "The Upshot".
  • Dr. Adam Gaffney Pulmonary and critical care physician; instructor at Harvard Medical School; board member for Physicians for a National Health Program, the single-payer advocacy organization
  • Bill Scher Contributing Editor to POLITICO Magazine; contributor to Real Clear Politics
  • Tom Udall U.S. Senator (D), New Mexico

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