Democratic presidential candidates jostled over the weekend to gain the support of organized labor, and health care remains one of the big issues. The candidates made their cases Saturday at a forum of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents 1.6 million workers nationwide. As the Associated Press reports, union leaders voiced concern that a Medicare for all plan would erode health care benefits that they gained at the bargaining table over the years.
Whether to back Medicare for all or improve the ACA remains a dividing line between some candidates with “former Vice President Joe Biden declaring he’s ‘against any Democrat who wants to get rid of Obamacare’ and Sen. Kamala Harris saying no Democrat should be on the debate stage without a plan to cover everybody.” (Biden says his plan would cover 97% of Americans.)
Sen. Bernie Sanders said his Medicare for all plan would free up unions to focus entirely on negotiating higher wage increases while Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who also favors Medicare for all, “tried to redirect attention to the Trump administration’s efforts to have federal courts declare the entire Affordable Care Act law unconstitutional,” the AP reports.