All Eyes Are On Nevada As Early Caucusing Begins

Henrietta Brewer
February 14, 2020

The Culinary Workers Union said supporters of Sanders, a front-runner in the Democratic White House race, "viciously" attacked the organization via Twitter, text, voicemail and direct messaging after the union criticized the senator's universal healthcare plan on Tuesday.

"The program is crafted with the working class and particularly union members in mind", Sarah Michelsen, Bernie 2020 Nevada State Director, said in a statement.

The flier depicts where the leading 2020 Democratic candidates stand on health care, immigration and "Good Jobs", and singles out Sanders.

Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders on Thursday urged an end to online "bullying or ugly personal attacks" after a powerful hospitality-industry union in Nevada accused his supporters of harassment. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has also vocally supported his plan.

"Medicare for All eliminates the profiteering of the insurance companies and the drug companies, and it does away with the incredible administrative bureaucracy that now exists when we're administering literally thousands of separate health insurance programs", Sanders said in a previous interview. "We know all the candidates and we respect them all".

Sanders' rivals jumped into the fray on the issue on Wednesday, with the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, touting his Medicare for All Who Want It, which does not preclude private insurance.

The casino workers' Culinary Union, a 60,000-member group made up of housekeepers, porters, bartenders and more who work in Las Vegas' casinos, controls arguably one of the most important voting blocs in Nevada and is expected to play a crucial role in the state's contest later this month. Amy Klobuchar and businessman Tom Steyer, saying each would "protect Culinary Healthcare".

Sanders' campaign has sought to reassure union members that Medicare for All would not worsen the quality of their health coverage. "With health care as a human right, unions will have more leverage to negotiate better wages and benefits".

Sanders has said his goal is to show union members that Medicare for All would not result in any drop in coverage quality from private health care now in place.

US labour unions have spent years negotiating high quality, union-backed health care plans they fear will be snatched from them if a single-payer, government-run healthcare plan becomes reality.

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