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Elizabeth Warren on 'Conservative' Obamacare and Why 'the Next Step is Single-Payer'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaking at a rally on Capitol Hill on June 21. (Edward Kimmel / CC 2.0)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaking at a rally on Capitol Hill on June 21. (Edward Kimmel / CC 2.0)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren does not mince words when discussing the Trump administration. “[This] is not the America of our dreams,” she told a crowd last Friday at a town hall in Lowell, Mass. “It is the America of our nightmares.”

A new piece in the Wall Street Journal covers the Democratic senator’s progressive positions espoused at that town hall, which was held in a pro-Trump county. The Journal reports:

Warren is traveling to Trump-friendly areas of her state hoping to connect with his backers and provide a road map for her party to win back working-class voters.

Ms. Warren’s message echoes the gloomy assessment of the U.S. economy that President Donald Trump sketched out during the 2016 campaign, though her prescription for addressing it is diametrically opposite.

At a weekend town hall meeting here, the Massachusetts Democrat began with a treatise about how the economy worked far better for the middle class in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Now, Ms. Warren said, the middle class is no longer an equal partner in the nation’s economic growth and there is little hope for anyone who is not rich, powerful and connected.

During the town hall, Warren fielded questions from Trump voters and explained why many of their problems will worsen under the Trump administration. “We talk about how the middle class has just taken one punch after another for nearly 40 years now,” she told the crowd. “Understand that Donald Trump and these Republican majorities are poised to deliver the knockout blow.”

Two days before the Massachusetts town hall, Warren spoke at a rally on Capitol Hill and addressed the Republican health care bill. “This should not be a partisan fight, because cancer doesn’t just come to one political party,” Warren told the crowd. “Health care is a basic human right.”

She doesn’t hold back from criticizing the Republican Party, but Warren is also blunt when discussing her own party — especially when it comes to health care. In describing the town hall event, the Journal says:

Warren says her immediate focus is on fighting the Republican health-care legislation and mounting her 2018 re-election campaign. But she hasn’t been shy about seeking to pull fellow Democrats and those running in next year’s midterm elections to the left.

Blocking the GOP rollback of provisions in the Affordable Care Act, Ms. Warren said, is not enough. She said Democrats on the ballot in the next two federal elections should back a national single-payer health-care plan.

“President Obama tried to move us forward with health-care coverage by using a conservative model that came from one of the conservative think tanks that had been advanced by a Republican governor in Massachusetts,” she said during an interview in her Senate office last week. “Now it’s time for the next step. And the next step is single payer.”

“The progressive agenda is America’s agenda,” Warren told the Journal. “It’s not like we’re trying to sell stuff that people don’t want. … It’s not that at all. It’s that we haven’t gotten up there and been as clear about our values as we should be, or as clear and concrete about how we’re going to get there.”

Read the full piece here.

—Posted by Emma Niles

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