Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has proposed a new single-payer health care plan, "Medicare for All," which hit it big with Democrats on Sept. 13, with more than one-third of them pledging their support for the bill. But President Donald Trump voiced a much less enthusiastic stance on Twitter. Sanders wasn't having it.
"Bernie Sanders is pushing hard for a single payer healthcare plan - a curse on the U.S. & its people," Trump wrote at noon on Sept. 14. "I told Republicans to approve healthcare fast or this would happen. But don't worry, I will veto because I love our country & its people."
Sanders reacted quickly, tweeting a response to Trump 19 minutes later.
"No Mr. President," Sanders said, "providing health care to every man, woman and child as a right is not a curse, it's exactly what we should be doing."
He added: "What is a curse is your support for throwing 23 million off health insurance. That's the curse and we won't allow you to get away with it."
The bill, which Sanders revealed to the Senate on Sept. 13, calls for a complete overhaul of the current U.S. health insurance system to a single-payer system run by the government.
It is not the first time Sanders has introduced such a bill. According to CNN, he proposed a similar health care plan by in 2013. He had no co-sponsors at the time.
Sanders is no longer alone, as the new bill is co-sponsored by 15 Democratic senators, several of whom are considered to be front-runners in the 2020 presidential election, Business Insider reports.
The bill comes about six weeks after the failure of Republican senators' bid to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
While Republicans and the president have remained critical of the bill, support is rising among Democratic leaders. Among the supporters are Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and Corey Booker of New Jersey, CNN reports.
Citizen support is also on the rise. According to a June 2017 Kaiser Family poll, 53 percent of Americans are in support of a national health care plan, reports CNN. That's a 3 percent increase from 2016 and a 40 percent increase from between 1998 and the 2000.
Still, not all Democrats are willing to throw their weight behind the bill. Business Insider reports that Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York has yet to support it.
"We want to move the issue forward," Schumer said, remarking that there are are many "good" bills that he and other Democrats are considering.
Another skeptical Democrat is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who expressed concerns over the unknown financing of the bill.
If implemented, a government-run program for all U.S. citizens could potentially cost hundreds of billions of dollars annually, Business Insider reports. Sanders is anticipated to release a proposal for the bill's funding soon.