Some Democrats are concerned Vermont Sen. Bernie Sander’s so-called “litmus test” for a single-payer “Medicare for all” health plan could result in primary challenges in the 2018 midterm elections, Politico reported.
Sanders, an independent who sought the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, based much of that campaign on his call for a single-payer healthcare system in which the government provides health coverage for all.
It appears Sanders has now decided to push for his colleagues on the left to follow suit — or face challengers from within their own party.
“Our view is that within the Democratic Party, this is fast-emerging as a litmus test,” Sanders’ presidential campaign pollster Ben Tulchin told Politico.
Though several high-profile Democrats have expressed support for the idea, most in the party fear no such bill can pass with Republicans in charge of Congress until at least 2019 and President Donald Trump in the White House for even longer.
“There’s a concern that [Sanders allied] people will try to make a stir,” Politico quoted “a senior Democratic aide working on a 2018 campaign.” “You can’t just be a liberal Democrat in a lot of these states and be elected. [So] the question is how we improve the lives of people instead of playing these political games.”
But Sanders’ backers sound like they are indeed willing to push the issue.
“Any Democrat worth their salt that doesn’t unequivocally say Medicare-for-all is the way to go? To me, there’s something wrong with them,” former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner said. “We’re not going to accept no more hemming and hawing. No more game playing. Make your stand.”