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Sanders confirms he'll seek HELP chairmanship

Bernie Sanders gives a campaign speech

Sanders campaigns for House Democrats in Michigan in July. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders will take the chairmanship of the Senate HELP Committee next year, his spokesman confirmed on Thursday. 

Why it matters: The move gives a new, larger platform on health policy to one of the country's leading progressive voices and an unabashed champion of Medicare for All. 

  • Sanders spokesman Mike Casca indicated Medicare for All would be part of Sander's focus next year, referring to "universal health care, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, increasing access to higher education, and protecting workers’ rights on the job," as his priorities as chairman. 

Reality check: Sweeping health policies like Medicare for All, or anything close to it, have no chance with a GOP House, even if they somehow made it out of the Senate.

  • But Sanders can call hearings, seek to make executives testify, and use his megaphone. 
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