Democratic Candidates for Governor Push Single-Payer Health Care

August 6, 2018

By David Weigel

Wherever he takes his campaign for governor, Abdul El-Sayed is followed by activists handing out information about “Medicare for all.” When he grabs the microphone, El-Sayed makes a promise: He’ll bring universal health care to Michigan.

“Why can the CEOs of big insurance corporations take home $13 million a year when 600,000 Michiganders still don’t have access to health care?” asked El-Sayed, who is a doctor, at a campaign stop last week in one of the state’s poorest cities. “When are we going to have leadership that stands up for statewide Medicare for all?”

El-Sayed, who campaigned this weekend with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) before Tuesday’s primary, is one of at least a dozen Democrats running for governor this year on a pledge to do what no state has ever done: give basic health insurance to everyone, no matter the cost.

The single-payer Democrats are on the ballot in red and blue states and from California, where Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is the heavy favorite to win in November, to Massachusetts, where Democrat Jay Gonzalez believes the issue will give him an opening against a popular Republican governor.

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