Facing challenging paths to the Senate, even Democratic candidates in battleground states are abandoning Medicare for All, Politico reported.
"Up and down the ticket you will see them forced to respond to Medicare for All," assistant director of public and community advocacy for National Nurses United, the top labor union fighting for Medicare for All, Kelly Coogan-Gehr told Politico. "People will hold their feet to the fire like never before."
Sensing an opportunity, GOP opponents work to pin Democratic candidates down on Medicare for All.
"For Democrats, all roads lead to Medicare for All and the elimination of the employer-based coverage," National Republican Senate Committee Jesse Hunt told Politico. "Senate Democrats will not be able to escape the socialist agenda being promised by their party's presidential candidates no matter how hard they try to obfuscate their true objective."
Democratic presidential primary candidates are not following suit of the battleground candidates, as they are trying to outdo each other to earn the nomination as opposed to facing a Republican.
"These policies that sell themselves as safe and incremental do not move people," Coogan-Gehr told Politico. "The grassroots is not moved by safety. We are talking to hundreds of people every day and they are not moved by expanding the ACA or a public option. They want something much more comprehensive, and they're willing to fight for it."
Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., is firmly against a universal single-payer healthcare system.
"I think people do want to have the opportunity to keep private insurance," he told Politico.
Arizona Senate candidate Mark Kelly agreed, saying single-payer plans fly in the face of reality.
"I think it takes us in the wrong direction, in the opposite direction from where we need to be going," Kelly told Politico of a public option. "That health insurance isn't always perfect, but there are a lot of those individuals that like the plan that they have. I don't think we should take that away from them."
Texas candidate Amanda Edwards backs a public option, but not Medicare for All, according to the report.
"I didn't necessarily go in the direction of Medicare for All not because in principle we don't want the coverage, certainly we do," Edwards told Politico. "I just think there are different ways to try to achieve the goals of expanded access to coverage and optionality people have expressed that they wanted."
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