July 31, 2019 | Updates

CBS & CNN Highlight Union Opposition To Medicare For All

WASHINGTON – With an eye towards this week’s Democratic presidential debates in the swing state of Michigan, which has a strong labor presence, CBS News reports that “some unions have been vocal in their misgivings about the Medicare for All plans pushed by candidates like [Sen. Elizabeth] Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders.”

[Electrician and IBEW member Bob] Newton, like many of the nearly 15 million union members across the country, likes the insurance he has now.  And union members remain a core Democratic constituency, particularly in the Rust Belt states President Trump flipped in 2016.  But some within the party say that embracing “Medicare for All,” which would eradicate most forms of private insurance, will alienate the union rank-and-file that Democrats have long counted on in pivotal states like Pennsylvania and Michigan … Two dozen interviews with union leaders, voters and scholars suggest that Newton is not alone in his misgivings about Medicare for All.

CNN’s Jake Tapper and Maeve Reston also discussed the fact that union members have deep concerns about proposals that would disrupt or eliminate their hard-earned health coverage, with Reston noting “how huge the disconnect is between the Democrats [promoting government-run health insurance], particularly Sanders, and where moderate and independent voters are on this … They don’t want people to touch their health care, and many of them here in Michigan have worked very hard to get those benefits,” and Tapper chiming in that this includes “a lot of the union members.”

Recently, David Drucker of the Washington Examiner also reported that labor leaders are warning that a “Democratic nominee who supports replacing private health insurance with a government-run system would lose union voters in battleground states,” and The Washington Post notes that “Democrats in swing [Congressional] districts are increasingly worried that the outspoken embrace of Medicare-for-all by Bernie Sanders and other top Democratic presidential hopefuls could hurt their chances of keeping the House in 2020.”



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