Transition: As The Nation pointed out in a widely read article this month, no single payer bill yet has really explained how to move from our current system to the new one, or how long it should take to avoid total disruption. The Sanders bill is likely to make the transition gradually, by lowering the Medicare eligibility age over time and providing a government-run “public option” for everyone else.

How to pay for it: This is where the California single-payer effort got bogged down, and the Sanders bill isn’t likely to provide much of a road map either. That’s because the Sanders team doesn’t want to get caught up in fights over the financing. They just want to start the debate over whether health care should be considered a right, and then work out the details later.