Sen. Bernie Sanders proposed single-payer policy could shatter some Democratic hopefuls’ presidential ambitions in 2020. The Vermont senator said he’s “skeptical” a presidential hopeful could win the White House without first endorsing the single-payer system.
Sanders plans to push for a single-payer proposal when Congress returns from recess. The senator underlined that his proposed health care model, which includes Medicare for all, is not a “litmus test” for Democratic White House contenders.
Sen. Kamala Harris who wants to run for the presidency in 2020 suggested potential candidates should support the Sanders model early if they want to get the full support of their base.
Presidential hopefuls, however, aren’t eager to endorse the plan as they are afraid they may alienate their more conservative voters, whose support they need to regain control of Congress and the White House.
Potential candidates such as Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, and NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo refused to offer a clear response to questions about their stance on the single-payer system. Other White House contenders who had supported Sanders’ plan in the past were unusually silent on the issue this week.
Single-Payer System Not a ‘Litmus Test’
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who is also likely to run, said he “believes” in the single-payer and Medicare-for-all models, but he added that they cannot be done in the current environment.
Liberal groups, however, are pressing their representatives to act. The Sanders-backed Our Revolution group said that the single-payer system is not a litmus test for Democrats in 2020, but a candidate would earn the group’s support only if he or she endorsed the plan first.
I don’t want to frame it as a litmus test. It’s a value proposition: Either you value the lives of the American people or you don’t,
A spokesperson for Our Revolution said.
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