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OWR Opposes DNC Platform, Which Leaves out Medicare For All

At 2 p.m. on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, Our Wisconsin Revolution leadership and staff who are delegates for Bernie Sanders to the 2020 Democratic National Convention will join almost 800 delegates from around the country in voting no on the DNC platform. This unison no vote is a rejection of the Democratic Party platform that does not include support for a single-payer, Medicare for All policy.

“I am voting no because the Platform Committee is not listening to the American people. This platform is a slap in the face to the vast majority of Democrats and to the American People,” said Sarah Lloyd, OWR co-chair and delegate for Bernie Sanders.

According to a recent Harris X/Hill poll, 69 percent of the general public supports Medicare For All, with a 88 percent rate of support among Democrats. The Platform Committee also voted down expanding Medicare eligibility to age 55, a proposition supported by many presidential candidates in the primary this past year.

A platform without language for Medicare for All is grossly inhumane in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has already killed more than 160,000 American citizens. Support for Medicare for All has been boosted by the obvious truth, made clear by COVID-19, that tying health insurance to employment is not sustainable, equitable, efficient or safe from a public health standpoint. The massive number of people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and economic shutdown shows that it is dangerous for people to be dependent on health care directly tied to their employers.

“I am voting no because amid a new civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter, this pandemic has also magnified the severe health-care disparities we have in this country, with Black and Brown Americans dying at rates two to three times higher than white Americans, paralleling their similar rates of not having health insurance,” said Charlie Ryan, OWR co-chair and Sanders delegate. “If the Democratic Party wants to take a stand in support of BLM, then they should have voted resoundingly in support of guaranteeing health care to our minority communities that suffer the most from lack of health care.”

“We know that people who do not have health insurance avoid medical care due to the fear of medical debt. This threatens our very ability as a country to contain COVID-19 and so undermines our public health,” said Rich McGowan, a medical doctor in Madison and OWR board member. “The times we are living through are exceptional in the scope of the problems facing us. They demand bold leadership. Unfortunately this latest vote by the Platform Committee has failed to deliver what the public supports.”

Our Wisconsin Revolution condemns the DNC’s 2020 Platform Committee vote and supports efforts of DNC delegates, 700 and counting, who would overturn that vote. This includes both Sanders and Biden delegates, including OWR Board members Michael Beardsley, Charlie Ryan, Sarah Lloyd, and Justice Peche, and staff member Cathy Cowan Becker.

Our Wisconsin Revolution’s mission is to create a new kind of politics in our state. “The OWR board and our general membership believe that health care is a right. The United States needs to make the necessary reforms to make that right a reality as soon as possible through a publicly funded Medicare for All system,” said McGowan. “Help us free our democracy from corporate control and put the power back in the hands of the people.”

Our Wisconsin Revolution is an independent, statewide, membership-driven, democratic-populist organization that aims to take Wisconsin government back from corporate elites and make it of, by, and for the people. For more information please see a recording of Our Wisconsin Revolution’s recent Health Care Forum and list of endorsed candidates.

Photo credit: Elvert Barnes