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Gillibrand backing Sanders' Medicare for All legislation

WASHINGTON — Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand on Tuesday lent some high-profile support to an effort by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, to pave the way to a single-payer health care system.

Gillibrand, a Democrat, announced she has signed on as a co-sponsor of Sanders' Medicare for All Act — which includes a provision authored by Gillibrand that would allow Americans to buy into a nonprofit public health plan during the transition to single-payer.

"This would create an affordable, public health care plan that’s available to any American to purchase through the already-existing insurance exchanges," said Gillibrand, who has backed such a public option since her first run for Congress in 2006.

Gillibrand — seen by many in Washington as a potential 2020 presidential candidate even though she has said she won't run — said she is supporting Sanders' legislation because "health care should be a right, not a privilege."

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