Sanders Adds Fresh Fuel to Health-Care Fight: Campaign Update

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-17/harris-s-medicare-for-all-has-a-private-option-campaign-update

relates to Sanders Adds Fresh Fuel to Health-Care Fight: Campaign Update

Bernie Sanders on Wednesday added fuel to a debate over health care consuming the Democratic race, calling on his presidential rivals to reject donations from the health care industry.

In a sweeping defense of his “Medicare for All” proposal that would eventually end private insurance, the Vermont senator said the party shouldn’t accept contributions of more than $200 from a list of pharmaceutical and health-insurance industry political action committees, executives and lobbyists.

“We have to confront a Washington culture that is corrupt, that puts profits ahead of people,” Sanders said in a speech at George Washington University in Washington.

Sanders is emphasizing health-care policy as a major point of difference with his rivals, particularly front-runner Joe Biden, who said this week that Medicare for All wasn’t realistic and that he would instead update the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act by adding a public option.

The donations pledge takes aim at both Biden and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Biden showed contributions totaling $19,100 from employees at 14 of the companies on Sanders’s list, an analysis of his report filed with the Federal Election Commission shows. Almost $8,800 came from donors with the title of “executive” or “CEO.”

Buttigieg reported almost $44,700 in contributions from employees at 34 entities on Sanders’s list. Only about $2,000 came from donors who listed “executive” as their occupation, with the most contributions coming from those with “HIV prevention specialist” and “physician” as titles.

Trump Holds Rally in Swing State North Carolina

President Donald Trump on Wednesday will travel to Greenville, North Carolina, for his first political rally since a furor erupted over his remarks directed at four Democratic congresswomen that his opponents have called racist.

Trump won North Carolina in 2016. Polls indicate that it will be a swing state in 2020: A Public Policy Polling survey released June 20 showed Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders in hypothetical general election matchups.

The president is likely to use the campaign stop to renew his attacks on Democrats he says are beholden to their most liberal flank.

Trump campaign rally in Greenville

Attendees wait in line for a Trump rally in Greenville, North Carolina on Jul 17.

Photographer: Travis Long/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS via Getty Images

In a series of tweets Sunday, he told four liberal U.S. representatives, all women of color, to “go back” to the “crime infested places from which they came.” The tweets have been called racist by many Democrats and some Republicans. Trump has defended the posts and repeated his invitation to the lawmakers — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib — to leave the country. They are all American, and only Omar was born outside the U.S.

Democratic groups have seized on the controversy. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee plans to air a TV ad that names prominent Republicans “for their silence about Trump’s racism.” — Alex Wayne

Sanders Wants Rivals to Reject Big Pharma Money

Bernie Sanders is calling on his Democratic presidential rivals and the rest of the party to reject donations from pharmaceutical and health-insurance industry political action committees, executives and lobbyists.

Sanders’s campaign says he will argue in a speech he’s set to deliver Wednesday that it is impossible to overhaul the U.S. health care system while also taking donations from the industry.

“You can’t change a corrupt system by taking its money,” according to prepared remarks. “If we are going to break the stranglehold of corporate interests over the health care needs of the American people, we have got to confront a Washington culture that has let this go on for far too long.”

Sanders will release a pledge for other candidates in which they would agree not to knowingly take any donations of more than $200 from those industries. The pledge lists more than 150 companies belonging to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and America’s Health Insurance Plans, including

Allstate Insurance and

Eli Lilly & Co.

The challenge will come as part of a broader speech in which Sanders, who has seen declines in recent national polls, will defend his “Medicare for All” health proposal. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the current front-runner in the race, said this week he wants to add a public option to the Affordable Care Act, arguing that it is a far less costly approach. — Laura Litvan

Harris Ties Biden in California With a Big Jump

Senator Kamala Harris’s support in California has surged, a new Quinnipiac University poll shows, putting her in a statistical tie with former Vice President Joe Biden among Democrats in her home state.

The survey found 23% of those voters support Harris, while 21% backed Biden. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders had 18% support, while Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren received the backing of 16%. The poll had a margin of error of 5.7 percentage points.

But Harris’s support is far stronger than an earlier Quinnipiac poll on April 10, two weeks before Biden announced his presidential bid. In that poll, Biden had 26% among California Democrats, while Sanders had 18% and Harris trailed in third place with 17%. Warren lagged with 7%. Biden also led Harris in a previous LA Times/Berkeley survey from June.

Senator Kamala Harris Holds Town Hall In New Hampshire

As a California senator, it’s crucial that Harris show strong support among home-state voters, but she has struggled to do so in the crowded Democratic field.

The poll of 519 Democrats and respondents leaning Democratic was conducted between July 10 and 15. — Greg Sullivan

Harris’s Medicare for All Has a Private Option

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris said her Medicare for All plan wouldn’t end private insurance. At least not right away.

“Medicare for All means that everyone will have access to health care and that cost will not be a barrier,” Harris told CNN in an interview aired Wednesday.

“As it relates to private insurance, there will still be supplemental insurance, but yeah, transitioning into Medicare for All will at some point reduce the requirement for insurance because everyone will have access to health care,” she said.

Harris has been accused of
waffling
on her health care plan, embracing Medicare for All but trying to find a narrow path between two competing constituencies in the Democratic Party.
On one side are progressives such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders who embrace a Medicare for all system that would eliminate most private insurance. On the other side are moderates, including front-runner Joe Biden, seek to preserve Obamacare but would add on new government-run options in an effort to maximize consumer choice.

Harris said on CNN that private insurance would remain a “supplemental” option, under her plan. But that would eventually not be needed as there won’t be a need. She also said she doesn’t see a middle-class tax hike needed to fund her proposal, and she’d instead eye more targeted new revenue sources such as going after Wall Street. — Terrence Dopp

Here’s What Happened Tuesday:

  • Bernie Sanders said that as president he would sit down with authoritarian leaders like North Korea’s Kim Jong Un or Russia’s Vladimir Putin even though he remains critical of President Donald Trump’s “respect and affection for” dictators around the world. “Should we sit down and negotiate with them? Absolutely,” the Vermont senator and Democratic White House contender said at a Washington Post Live news event.
  • Joe Biden said his presidency wouldn’t just be a continuation of Barack Obama’s two terms. “The world’s changed. It’s different. We have the same value set, he and I,” Biden said. “It’s a different world. The same things don’t apply.”
  • A new poll of New Hampshire voters shows Joe Biden leading the Democratic field with 24% of likely voters. The survey by CNN and the University of New Hampshire showed Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders with 19% each. But the trend line may be notable: she’s up by 14 points since April and he’s down by 11 points since then.

Coming Up This Week:

On Wednesday, Trump is holding an evening rally in Greenville, North Carolina.

CNN and the Democratic National Committee, the organizers of the next round of Democratic debates on July 30 and 31, will announce on Wednesday which 20 candidates will qualify for the event. On Thursday, CNN will broadcast a live drawing that will determine the lineup of 10 candidates on each night.

Nineteen of the two dozen or so Democratic candidates are participating in forums organized by AARP this week.

  • A Wednesday event in Cedar Rapids will feature Representatives Tim Ryan and Tulsi Gabbard, and Senator Michael Bennet.
  • The Friday event in Sioux City will feature Senator Elizabeth Warren, author Marianne Williamson, former Representative Beto O’Rourke and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
  • The Saturday event in Council Bluffs will feature Senator Bernie Sanders, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Montana Governor Steve Bullock and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

— With assistance by Laura Litvan, Terrence Dopp, Greg Sullivan, and Alex Wayne

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