Hundreds of delegates, many who support Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — who previously sought the Democratic Party’s nomination in the 2020 presidential election — are pushing the Democratic platform to support “Medicare for All.”
Over 360 delegates signed a petition, started by the Nevada delegation to the Democratic National Convention, to urge the Democratic Party to back “Medicare for All” or else they would vote against the Democratic platform in the 2020 election, according to Politico.
The petition claims the Democratic Party and its platform have “failed, to date, to incorporate a clear and progressive platform plank for Medicare-For-All for adoption by the 2020 National Convention.”
“Be it resolved that we, the undersigned delegates to the Democratic National Convention, pledge to vote against any 2020 Platform that does not include a universal, single-payer, Medicare-For-All, platform plank,” the petition reads.
Chair of the convention’s Nevada delegation, who is helping in leading the petition, Judith Whitmer told Politico, “This pandemic has shown us that our private health insurance system does not work for the American people.”
“Millions of people have lost their jobs and their health care at the same time. There’s people leaving the hospital now with millions of dollars in medical bills,” Whitmer, a Sanders delegate, added. “What are we going to do about that?”
While many delegates who have signed the petition are Sanders backers, some are also Biden delegates.
However, as Politico notes, the hundreds of delegates do not have a huge chance at implementing support for “Medicare for All” in the party’s platform. “Medicare for All” was not included in a draft 80-page Democratic Party platform recently released on July 21.
Those who are pushing the petition also said they are, however, backing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the upcoming election.
Additionally, Whitmer told Politico, “In the Democratic Party, there’s an attitude that we have to write our platform to match the candidate and the candidate’s position. We want to get back to the way it should be, which is the people create the platform based on our values and principles, and what we want the candidate to support.”
Sanders’ campaign pushed for “Medicare for All,” writing on his website that he wanted to “create a Medicare for All, single-payer, national health insurance program to provide everyone in America with comprehensive health care coverage, free at the point of service.”
On Biden’s website, he pledges to protect and build on the Affordable Care Act, citing that under the health care plan it would “insure more than an estimated 97% of Americans.”
Sanders and Biden previously made known their Unity Task Force, which explores “possible policy initiatives” in six key policy areas: “climate change, criminal justice reform, economy, education, health care, and immigration,” as IJR reported.