Warren woos Nevada union amid healthcare policy concerns
Send a link to a friend
[December 10, 2019]
By Sharon Bernstein
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Democratic
presidential contender Elizabeth Warren defended her Medicare for All
healthcare proposal on Monday, telling members of an influential Nevada
labor union that she wants all Americans to have coverage that is as
good as theirs.
Union members throughout the U.S. are worried about losing hard-won
health coverage under plans by Massachusetts Senator Warren, and rival
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who have proposed doing away with
Asked whether she would preserve the coverage negotiated by Nevada's
unionized hotel and casino workers, Warren pivoted, praising their
state-of-the-art clinic but not saying how she would protect it.
"What you’ve got is something I want to see replicated all across
America," said Warren told a member of Culinary Workers Local 226 at a
town hall meeting sponsored by the union Monday night in Las Vegas.
Warren was the first of three leading candidates seeking the Democratic
Party's nomination to run against Republican President Donald Trump in
2020 to appear this week at town halls hosted by the 60,000-member
Her participation, to be followed by Sanders on Tuesday and former Vice
President Joe Biden on Wednesday, shows the significance of labor's
support to candidates vying for the party's nomination just two months
before the early-voting state of Nevada picks its choice.
Unions are so crucial to Democrats' electoral success in Nevada that
early voting for the state's February nominating caucuses will take
place in union halls.
[to top of second column]
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks on the first night of the
second 2020 Democratic U.S. presidential debate in Detroit,
Michigan, U.S., July 30, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo
All three of the candidates are allied with labor, but touchy
questions remain for Warren and Sanders on their healthcare
proposals. Both have said their plans would lead to the elimination
of private healthcare, although Warren just days before her last
trip to Nevada made a point of saying healthcare clinics funded
under union contracts would be allowed to continue to operate under
Like many unions, the Culinary Workers have not yet endorsed a
candidate among the 15 still vying for the party's nomination, and
healthcare will be key to its choice, said Geoconda Arguello-Kline,
the 60,000 member local's Secretary-Treasurer.
"One of the reasons they're in a union is that it provides them with
healthcare," said Donna West, Democratic Party chairwoman in Clark
County, where Las Vegas is located.
Biden, who is leading in polls in Nevada and nationally, has
promised to preserve union healthcare as part of any reform.
But Biden, who served as Obama's vice president, may face tough
questions on immigration stemming from that administration's high
Culinary Workers, the state's largest union, is heavily comprised of
immigrants who work in casinos, hotels and bars.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Bill Berkrot)
[© 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2019 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.