Organizers also said they are not dividing – rather it is the party leaders who prevail over the grassroots who sow division, they argued. They point to exit polls showing the majority of Democratic primary voters across the states are in favor of Medicare for All.
“We’re going to fight like hell for Biden. And there is no contradiction between doing that and supporting this commitment, ”Solomon said.
Whitmer said delegates from Sanders in Nevada began circulating the pledge Thursday through Slack and delegate groups. While she did not provide specific numbers, she said it was safe to say that a majority of those who signed are Sanders delegates, although some Biden delegates have also. Campaigners hope a significant number of Biden delegates will back the vow.
The announcement of the pledge comes as President Donald Trump attempts to portray Biden as a “puppet of the radical left.” His campaign spent at least $ 14 million on a misleading ad claiming the police would be disbanded under a Biden administration. The former vice-president spoke out against defounding the police almost as soon as it rose to prominence.
Last week, a DNC committee released a draft platform that did not include support for Medicare for All or other progressive priorities such as guaranteed jobs or the “Green New Deal,” despite Sanders ‘helpers’ efforts to include them as boards. Organizers are going public with Medicare for All’s pledge now in part because they hope to influence the Democratic National Committee’s platform committee, which takes up the agenda on Monday. Whitmer said campaigners were successful in persuading a panel member to submit an amendment to support the single payer.
The pledge by delegates to vote against a platform without Medicare for All represents a sort of split between Sanders and his more passionate supporters. After moderates accused him of not doing all he could to persuade his followers to support Clinton in 2016 – a charge he vehemently denied – the Vermont senator took several steps to bring the Democratic Party this cycle.
Sanders set up “unity” working groups with Biden, who released recommendations earlier this month. Progressives have been successful in pushing Biden’s allies to move left on certain issues, such as climate change, immigration, and a no-frank public option for health care. But they failed to persuade the moderates in the task forces to support the legalization of marijuana, end “qualified immunity” or adopt a single payer.
Sanders’ aides again attempted to push the centrists on the DNC editorial board to support Medicare for All, but failed to do so. However, they managed to squeeze a nod to the single payer into the platform.
“Generations of Democrats have united in the fight for universal health care. We are proud that our party welcomes advocates who want to build on and strengthen the Affordable Care Act and those who support a Medicare for All approach; all are essential to ensure that healthcare is a human right, ”the project says.
But some progressive activists were not impressed, pointing to the more than 5 million people who, according to liberal advocacy group Families USA, lost their health insurance between February and May due to the coronavirus.
“Democrats who understand the deep need for Medicare for All don’t want a pat on the head,” Solomon said. “We want real political commitment to health care as a human right. Biden did not succeed.
Solomon and others have said they have a different role than Sanders and the task forces, and vice versa.
In a Zoom call with his delegates last week, Sanders said of working groups: “Did we get everything we wanted? Obviously, we didn’t. That’s for sure. But I think we have reached agreements on all of them, in all of these areas. “
He also urged his supporters to “engage in coalition politics with the goal of defeating Trump” and “to ensure that a Biden administration is the most progressive administration in modern American history.”
Whitmer said she wanted to make the party’s platform a more bottom-up process.
“In the Democratic Party there is an attitude that we have to write our program to match the candidate and the candidate’s position,” she said. “We want to go back to what it should be, which is that people are creating the platform based on our values and principles, and what we want the candidate to support.”