Political News

Culinary Union says Bernie Sanders would end its health care

Posted February 12, 2020 12:56 a.m. EST
Updated February 12, 2020 12:57 a.m. EST

— The influential Culinary Union distributed a flier that says Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would "End Culinary healthcare" if elected president of the United States.

The flier, obtained by CNN on Tuesday, outlines where the leading 2020 Democratic candidates stand on health care, immigration and "Good Jobs." It singles out Sanders as the candidate who will end the union's health care among the top six Democratic candidates, pointing to his "Medicare for All" plan.

The release of the flier by the union, which is a force in Nevada politics, comes just a week and a half away from the Nevada caucuses. The organization says it represents 60,000 hotel and casino workers in Nevada and provides health insurance coverage for more than 130,000 people. Its organizing abilities have helped deliver the state for Democrats for years. The union has not endorsed a candidate in the 2020 election.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Amy Klobuchar and businessman Tom Steyer are expected to "Protect Culinary Healthcare," according to the flier. All six candidates are proponents of lowering drug prices, the union notes.

The Nevada Independent was first to report on the flier. CNN has reached out to the Sanders campaign for comment.

"Medicare for All" is spearheaded by Sanders and would radically change the way Americans are covered, shifting control to the federal government and essentially eliminating the private insurance industry. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is a co-sponsor of the legislation in the Senate, had said she was "with Bernie on Medicare for All" until she released in November her own plan on how to implement it.

The flier notes Warren would "Replace Culinary Healthcare after 3-year transition or at end of collective bargaining agreements."

A flier distributed by the union last week delivered a message on health care but did not name any candidates. It reads, "We have fought for 85 years to protect our healthcare. Why would we let politicians take it away?"

"A history of blood, sweat, and tears secured our healthcare, not politicians promises. We fought for our healthcare," it reads.

It then lists, "Picket lines," "Civil disobedience arrest actions," and "Years of strikes."

"Some politicians say... 'The only way to fix healthcare for everyone, is to take others away,'" it reads.

"Some politicians say ... 'You will get more money for wages from the company if you give up Culinary Health Insurance.' Those politicians have never sat at our bargaining table or been on a 24/7 6 years, 4 months, and 10 days strike line - like we have to make an employer pay for healthcare," it reads.

"We will not hand over our healthcare for promises," the flier reads.

Sanders on Tuesday won the New Hampshire primary.

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