Dem senator attacks litmus tests over single-payer: It's 'nuts'

In an under-the-radar, late-September interview with "The Arena Talks" podcast, Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii) decried how single-payer has become a litmus test among progressives.

"I'll just make one broader point about healthcare and politics. It's only in healthcare where, if you are not for a single player, you are immediately a sell-out. It is only in healthcare where everything becomes a litmus test about your progressive purity," Schatz said.

"And I think that's nuts," he added.

Schatz made the point after discussing his own plan for healthcare reform, which is "Medicaid for All" or "Medicaid for anyone who wants to buy into it," as compared to the plan introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), "Medicare for All."

"I think Medicaid should compete with these private sector options. I don't think it should necessarily replace the private insurance market," Schatz said.

The senator said his plan would increase competition in the private insurance market because Medicaid has a "pretty good" benefits package and is economically efficient.

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