Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) may have disappointed some of her more idealistic followers when she admitted the lofty goal of “Medicare for all” by Bernie Sanders would be difficult to pass even if he were to win the Presidency.
Yahoo reports Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Thursday that if Sen. Bernie Sanders were elected president, he still might not be able to get Medicare for All, his signature health plan, passed in Congress.
“A president can’t wave a magic wand and pass any legislation they want,” Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told HuffPost this week.
While Ocasio-Cortez rarely tempers expectations when championing ideas like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal to fight climate change she helped author, she went on to suggest that under a President Sanders, a “compromise” might emerge on health care, even though she still considers Sanders’s bill the gold standard.
“The worst-case scenario? We compromise deeply and we end up getting a public option. Is that a nightmare? I don’t think so,” she said.
That dose of political realism was notable on an issue that has divided the Democratic primary. When Sen. Elizabeth Warren rose to the top of the Democratic field last fall, her rivals zeroed in on her inability to say whether a government-run health plan estimated to cost $30 trillion would result in higher taxes for the middle class.
After Warren laid out a modified proposal for her health care plan that she said would cost $20 trillion, former Vice President Joe Biden accused her of “making it up.”
“Look, nobody thinks it’s $20 trillion,” Biden told PBS last year, adding, “I think it is going to be very difficult to even get a Democratic Congress to vote for that.”
Warren’s revised plan is similar to what Ocasio-Cortez proposed as a fallback goal of enacting a public option as a first step to full Medicare for All.
After Warren offered that concession, and as her standing in the race fell, she was supplanted by Sanders as the face of Medicare for All, and the target of critics who see it as unrealistic.