The One Issue Bernie Delegates Want on the Party Platform... Or Else

Posted: Jul 27, 2020 9:45 PM
The One Issue Bernie Delegates Want on the Party Platform... Or Else

Source: AP Photo/Charles Krupa

More than 350 Bernie Sanders delegates are threatening to vote against the Democratic Party's platform at the Democratic National Convention which is set to take place in less than three weeks. According to the Sanders supporters, they would not support any party platform that doesn't include Medicare for All, one of Sanders' go-to policy proposals.

This is the petition that was circulated:

Bernie Sanders delegates from the Nevada delegation to the Democratic National Convention call on all delegates to sign on to this petition and pledge to vote against any platform that does not include a plank supporting universal, single-payer Medicare for All.

Whereas, this Country is currently in the throes of a catastrophic public health crisis; and

Whereas, this emergency has led to massive job losses due to the Country’s response to that crisis; and

Whereas, millions of Americans have lost their healthcare insurance because of those job losses at a time when healthcare is needed most; and

Whereas, this crisis has highlighted the need to separate healthcare from employment; and

Whereas, we believe that healthcare is a basic human right, not a luxury; and

Whereas, our current, for-profit health care system is inherently racist and discriminatory; and

Whereas, the majority of Americans now believe that a universal, single-payer, Medicare-For-All system is the best way to achieve equitable, affordable and accessible healthcare for all Americans; and

Whereas, the Democratic Party and their Platform Committee process has failed, to date, to incorporate a clear and progressive platform plank for Medicare-For-All for adoption by the 2020 National Convention; therefore

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 was started and circulated by Judith Whitmer, the head of the Sanders' campaign's Nevada delegation, who felt passionate about the Medicare for All platform. 

“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,” Whitmer, told POLITICO. “There’s people leaving the hospital now with millions of dollars in medical bills. What are we going to do about that?

According to the Daily Wire, groups like the Progressive Democrats of America and the Bernie Delegates Network have also had a major role in circulating the petition.

Despite that, Sanders told POLITICO he plans to vote for the party platform, even if his signature policy isn't part of the official platform.

"Sen. Sanders believes that the Democratic Party platform should advocate strongly for Medicare for All, and that of course is a major reason why he fought so hard for the nomination,” Mike Casca, a Bernie 2020 spokesman, told Fox News. “The senator appreciates that, amid a deadly pandemic which is creating a national health emergency, his delegates understand that now more than ever we must guarantee health care as a human right."

Biden has repeatedly said he doesn't support a universal health care option, like Medicare for All. Instead, he wants to expand the Affordable Care Act, which passed under the Obama administration. Under the Biden plan, Americans would have the ability to opt into a public option like Medicare; the age to qualify for Medicare would drop from 65 to 60; and subsidies for Obamacare would be expanded. 

As it currently stands, Biden has 2,632 delegates and Sanders has 1,076. In order to be the official Democratic nominee, a candidate needs 1,991 pledged delegates. It's highly unlikely the Sanders coup will be successful.