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Health care a likely focus in Democratic debates

Posted: 6:38 PM, Jul 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-30 19:02:59-04

DETROIT — Ten candidates vying to get the Democratic nomination to run for president will face off in a debate Tuesday night.

With a two-hour timeslot, it’s unlikely to hear from each candidate on every issue, but one that many have been vocal about is health care and whether to eliminate private insurance to make way for a single-payer system.

Ahead of the first round of debates Tuesday night, Dr. Matt Longjohn — who ran against Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, in the 6th District in last year’s election — said he’d like to see the candidates stand up for everyone’s right to health care.

“We’re looking for, in these candidates, to stand up to what’s going on — not just today, or this week, but over the next 460 days or so — the Trump administration continues to relentlessly attack those rights,” Longjohn said. “… So, we need these candidates, some of whom are senators and members of Congress, to be paying attention to these details while they are flying around the county and holding the Trump administration accountable.”

Longjohn is a part of the Committee to Protect Medicare and Affordable Care, a group of doctors working to urge lawmakers to protect access to health care.

The term “Medicare for All” carries a different meaning for voters on both sides of the political spectrum, but Longjohn said something a majority of people agree on is the need for access to health care.

“The majority of doctors across the country, patients across the country, no matter what you call it, are supportive of the concept of universal health care,” he said. “Where no one is turned away for essential health benefits because of the inability to pay or because of lack of access.”