While Donald Trump works to convince conservatives in the GOP that he has a health care plan and that his plan is not an utter betrayal of their belief system, Hillary Clinton is hoping to continue her march toward Democratic party unification by shifting her own health care proposals to the left.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee unveiled a new plan Saturday that calls for an additional $40 billion in federal support to community health care centers over the next decade.
The new plan also includes proposals that Clinton has floated in recent months, such as allowing those over 55 to opt into Medicare early, putting in place a monthly cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs and establishing a federally run “public option” insurance program.
The new plan marks yet another stage in Clinton’s continually-evolving health care agenda. Clinton did not bring up the concept of a government alternative to private insurance, which she supported during her first presidential campaign in 2008 but is vehemently opposed by insurance companies, until February of this year.
The initial reaction from Bernie Sanders to the plan suggests that it achieved its intended effect.
“Together, these steps will get us closer to the day where everyone in this country has access to quality, affordable health care,” Sanders said in response, Politico reports.
The left-wing Vermont senator has said he plans to vote for Clinton in the general election, but has stopped short of endorsing his primary rival, a semantic distinction that has infuriated many of his Congressional colleagues and other party leaders, who worry that many Sanders supporters will stay home on Election Day if Sanders doesn’t issue a more-public embrace of the party nominee.
Typically, a candidate who has wrapped up the nomination begins to pivot to the center in hopes of attracting independent voters. But this election year, so unusual in so many ways, sees the Democratic nominee focusing largely on trying to woo voters on the left. The most significant example is Clinton’s recent announcement in support of tuition-free college for students from middle class families.
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