National Nurses United Endorse Bernie Sanders’ 2020 Presidential Bid

By Victor Westerkamp

Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has received support from National Nurses United (NNU), the largest national trade union for nurses with over 150,000 members, for his relentless efforts advocating Medicare for all and other progressive spearheads.

“National Nurses United has endorsed Bernie Sanders because we need a president who will unite all workers to fight for social, economic, racial and gender justice, and who will champion bold ideas on workplace democracy, Medicare for All, and climate change,” NNU executive director Bonnie Castillo, RN. said on Twitter.

The group also endorsed Sanders in his campaign for the 2016 Primaries.

“We are so proud that together, in 2016, Bernie Sanders and NNU elevated Medicare for All to the national mainstream, where it has advanced to a top 2020 presidential race issue,” Castillo, said in a statement. “Nurses are beyond tired of watching our patients suffer and die needlessly, simply due to inability to pay, and we know Bernie Sanders is and has been, leading on Medicare for All through his advocacy and Senate legislation.”

“Nurses are the backbone of American healthcare,” Sanders responded on Twitter Tuesday. “I want to thank National Nurses United for not only the strong support of our campaign—but for the courage they have shown in helping to lead the effort for a Medicare for All program. Together, we will make healthcare a right.”

The NNU said they will make an official announcement of their endorsement at a press conference on Friday, Nov. 15.

Activists protest against the Republican health care repeal-and-replace legislation at U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s office in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, on July 19, 2017. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Sanders has jockeyed with rivals who say Sanders’s plan for a government takeover of the health sector is impossible because of the high costs it would bring.

Medicare for All is projected to cost $32.6 trillion over 10 years.

Sanders was asked how he’d fund the plan during an interview published on Oct. 29.

“We’re trying to pay for the (expletive) thing. At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, it is my view that the wealthiest people in this country, the top 1/10th of 1 percent should be paying substantially more than they’re paying right now. You have an insane situation. Let my Wall Street friends there tell me why it makes sense,” Sanders told CNBC.

“The fight right now is to get the American people to understand that we’re spending twice as much per capita, that, of course, we can pay for it. We’re paying it now in a very reactionary, regressive way. I want to pay for it in a progressive way,” the self-described socialist responded.

“You’re asking me to come up with an exact detailed plan of how every American—how much you’re going to pay more in taxes, how much I’m going to pay. I don’t think I have to do that right now,” he added.

Sanders claimed, “At the end of the day, we will pay for every nickel of Medicare for All, and it will save the overwhelming majority of the American people, who will no longer pay premiums.”

Epoch Times reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report