Here’s a good wrap-up of the results of the Democratic Party’s platform committee meeting.
I want to briefly point out that representatives of the two national teacher unions, AFT President Randi Weingarten and NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia voted against including Medicare for All in the Party platform.
While there has been talk about the need for the Biden camp and the progressives to make compromises in order to create a common front against Trump, health care was apparently a line in the sand.
Weingarten has been an outspoken opponent of national health care for a while. Like other national union leaders she says she wants to protect the health care her AFT and other union locals have bargained.
Now that 30 million newly unemployed workers are without employer provided health insurance, this defense rings hollow.
Weingarten got some attention this week in threatening a national strike if teachers can’t be assured of safe working conditions because of COVID19.
But the only safe working conditions for millions of teachers is remote instruction.
Many teachers are now being forced to think about the the start of school and having to choose between their family’s safety and their jobs.
The platform committee repeatedly voted on Monday not to modify language that would push the party closer to embracing Sanders’ “Medicare for All” health insurance model, sticking with Biden’s preferred language promising to build on the 2010 healthcare law signed by President Barack Obama.
Abdul El-Sayed, an epidemiologist and former health commissioner for the city of Detroit, argued that the coronavirus outbreak demonstrates why the country needs a single-payer system like Medicare for All rather than just an expansion of the Affordable Care Act.
“We have an opportunity to go bigger because this moment demands it,” El-Sayed said, arguing for an amendment that was eventually defeated.
What a time to vote against national healthcare.
So out of touch.