Nearly 500 delegates to the Democratic National Convention have signed a pledge to vote against any Democratic Party platform that does not include Medicare for All, according to Left Caucus, a group organizing the pledge.
“As of this morning nearly 470 delegates have signed the petition,” the caucus told The Epoch Times in a Twitter message.
The pledge says that the countrys “catastrophic public health crisis” and the job losses related to the governments attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19 have “highlighted the need to separate healthcare from employment.”
“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,” the petition reads. “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.”
While the delegate count is currently insufficient to force a platform change, it is significant enough to draw attention to the issue, especially given the recent campaign to project unity between Sanders and presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, who opposes Medicare for All.
“Were talking about peoples lives and their right to be healthy and to not die in debt. None of these things should be negotiable,” Chris Roberts, Sanders delegate from Nevada to the Democratic National Convention and incoming chair of Left Caucus, said in a statement to The Epoch Times.
“The Nevada State Democratic Party platform calls for healthcare that isnt tied to employment. As delegates to the national convention, its up to us to demand that and nothing less.”
Progressive groups including Roots Action, Bernie Delegates Network, and People for Bernie have all promoted news of the pledge. More than 100 votes were added to the tally since Politico first reported the pledge early on Monday.
“JoeBiden must do the right thing and endorse Medicare for All,” read a message on the Twitter account of People for Bernie.
Despite adopting a wide range of far-left policies during the early stages of a crowded primary race, Biden has been firmly opposed to Medicare for All, arguing that it is better to improve and build upon Obamacare, the signature achievement of the Obama administration during Bidens time as vice president.
As written, the Medicare for All bill would eliminate employer-based healthcare in favor of a government funded and regulated monopoly.
About 153 million Americans had employer-based healthcare coverage in 2019, according to a _