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Mon Sep 9, 2019, 02:01 PM

An inside look at what drives Bernie Sanders' fight to make health a right for all




The Vermont senator has staked his presidential campaign, and much of his political legacy, on transforming health care in America. His mother’s illness, and a trip he made to study the Canadian system, help explain why.


Sept. 9, 2019

BURLINGTON, Vt. — In July 1987, Bernie Sanders, then the mayor of Burlington, Vt., arrived in Ottawa convinced he was about to see the future of health care.

Years earlier, as his mother’s health declined, and his family struggled to pay for medical treatment, he was spending more time attending to her than in classes at Brooklyn College, suffering through what his brother called “a wrecked year’’ leading to her death. Over time, he had come to believe that the American health care system was flawed and inherently unfair. In Canada, he wanted to observe firsthand the government-backed, universal model that he strongly suspected was better. Amid tours of community centers and meetings with health care providers, Mr. Sanders, then 45, more than liked what he saw.

“He was thrilled,” recalled Beth Mintz, a professor of sociology at the University of Vermont and a member of a task force that accompanied Mr. Sanders. “It gave him much more confidence in the possibility of the single-payer system as a solution.”

Decades before “Medicare for all” would propel his presidential campaigns, Mr. Sanders’s expedition to Ottawa helped forge his determination to transform the American health care system. His views burst onto the national political scene during his 2016 presidential run, when he championed a single-payer program alongside many of his other liberal policy ideas. Now, as he seeks the Democratic presidential nomination for a second time, he has made “Medicare for all” the single most important issue of his campaign and in turn set the agenda for the ideological discussion in the Democratic primary.

Health care dominated the first two Democratic debates this summer and will most likely be a prominent issue again during the third debate on Thursday in Houston. Other candidates support “Medicare for all,” but it is Mr. Sanders who has become singularly identified with it — “I wrote the damn bill!’’ he proclaimed in July’s debate.

A review of hundreds of pages of documents from the first chapters of his political career — including speeches, correspondences and newspaper clippings — as well as interviews with those who have known him throughout his life, show that while his democratic socialist worldview underpins his “Medicare for all” pitch, he was also guided by other factors. Chief among them were his mother’s illness and death, which instilled in him a deeply personal urge to ensure everyone had access to medical care, and the adjacency of Vermont to Canada, which afforded him a blueprint to enact the kind of universal health care system he had envisioned for years.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/09/us/politics/bernie-sanders-health-care.html


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Reply An inside look at what drives Bernie Sanders' fight to make health a right for all (Original post)
Donkees Sep 2019 OP
Uncle Joe Sep 2019 #1
corbettkroehler Sep 2019 #2

Response to Donkees (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 02:36 PM

1. Kicked and recommended

Thanks for the thread Donkees.

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Response to Donkees (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 04:16 PM

2. I Loved This Byline

Buried in the story is the reporter's admission that Bernie drives this issue in Congress and on the trail.

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