Mondaire Jones, the Democratic candidate running for Congress (NY-17), “will be a reliable vote” for public insurance options, citing its cost-effectiveness compared to privatized insurance.

“I am going to vote for the best things that Democrats are able to accomplish and so if that ends up being a public option, I will be a reliable vote for a public option even as I fight for Medicare for All, a single-payer system,” Jones told uPolitics founder Erik Meers. “That is the only policy that would literally insure everybody in this country and result in at least $5 trillion in savings over the next ten years, which people don’t talk enough about.”

Jones, who would be the first openly gay black man in Congress, was declared the winner of the crowded Democratic primary on Tuesday with 44.6% of the vote – all but ensuring he will replace retiring Rep. Nita Lowey (D-New York). The district is rated “solid Democratic” by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

He garnered endorsements from several prominent leftwing politicians, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York).

Jones joins them in voicing support for Medicare for All, a single-payer system that would provide comprehensive healthcare for all Americans.

The progressive candidate noted the financial benefits of the proposal, claiming it could create savings of $5 trillion over the next 10 years.

“Folks oftentimes as a critique are asking the question, ‘well, how do you pay for it?'” Jones said. “We have to be clear that Medicare for All actually would be more cost-effective than what we currently have right now. We are estimating [spending] $52 trillion over the next ten years, whereas Medicare for All, under a single-payer system, will be something like $47 trillion.”

Jones’ estimations align with researchers’ findings from 2018.

The Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) concluded that based on Sanders’ Medicare for All Act of 2017 “the cumulative savings for the first decade operating under Medicare for All would be $5.1 trillion, equal to 2.1 percent of cumulative GDP, without accounting for broader macroeconomic benefits such as increased productivity, greater income equality, and net job creation through lower operating costs for small- and medium-sized businesses.”

He noted that some Democrats are not fully on board with the idea, but that he will continue to push for Medicare for All regardless.

“It’s not lost on me that members of the House and certainly in the Senate on the Democratic side have said that they may not be supportive of it, but let’s get there when we get there,” Jones said. “In the meantime, we can be fighting for Medicare for All.”