The Bernie Sanders campaign is ramping up their contrast of the top two Democratic candidates records by hitting Hillary Clinton for opposing single payer heath care and Sen. Kristen Gillibrand’s Family and Medical Leave Act.
In a statement, Sen. Sanders said:
I am disappointed that Secretary Clinton does not think we should join every other major country in guaranteeing health care through a cost-effective, Medicare-for-all, single-payer system that would save the average family about $5,000 a year.
Further, I am surprised that Secretary Clinton now opposes Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s Family and Medical Leave Act which is supported by 19 other Senate Democrats and more than 100 House Democrats.
The middle class is disappearing and we need bold action to rebuild it.
The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act would provide paid leave to workers by raising the payroll tax for workers and companies by 0.2%, or $1.38 a week. Clinton has vaguely opposed any legislation that would increase taxes on workers. After surviving the 1990s attempt at healthcare reform, it is no surprise that Hillary Clinton would oppose single payer. She understands that single payer healthcare is still a toxic issue. In short, a single payer Medicare for all proposal would be doomed and could cost Democrats the presidential election.
There is no way that Hillary Clinton is going to support single payer. It is up to the voters to decide whether or not this is a make or break issue that will define who they choose as the party’s nominee.
Sanders is hitting Clinton hard with a contrast in positions. The Sanders can be boiled down a matter of degrees. By highlighting Clinton’s positions on issues like single payer and paid family leave, Sanders is looking to paint a picture of a Democratic frontrunner who is too far to the right for primary voters.
The Sanders campaign has been increasingly highlighting their policy differences with Clinton because they are losing. When Sanders was running closer to Clinton, he could afford to run a campaign that focused on his issues and ideas, but now that he is trailing by double digits in Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada, Sen. Sanders has to contrast his record with Clinton’s in order to make the election a choice between two different candidates.
Sen. Sanders has been very successful in shaping the agenda and moving former Sec. of State Clinton to the left. Healthcare has become a big issue in the Democratic primary campaign, as an exciting debate about the future of the Democratic Party is unfolding on the national stage.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
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