Conservative Democrat Open to Single-Payer Health System

(Bloomberg) -- The Senate’s most conservative Democrat said Tuesday Congress should consider adopting a single-payer health-care system, a sign of how fast politics are shifting on what was once seen as a fringe issue on the left.

"It should be explored," said West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who faces re-election next year in a state President Donald Trump carried by 42 points. "I want to know what happens in all the countries that have it -- how well it works or the challenges they have."

Manchin, who was considered by Trump for a cabinet post, said he hopes the legislation will be considered by a congressional committee. He added that he’s not ready to sign onto the Medicare-for-all proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, runner-up for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

Manchin later issued a statement saying he’s “skeptical that single-payer is the right solution” and that the Senate should “carefully consider all of the options.”