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One Bernie Delegate’s Story of Why He’s Voting Against the DNC Platform

Jim Langford is one of over 700 delegates who will be voting ‘no’ on the DNC platform at next week’s virtual convention over the party’s rejection of Medicare for All.

He supported Bernie’s 2016 campaign, but in 2020, four years into a Trump presidency with the stakes even higher, he decided to get more involved in Sanders’ second presidential run. He managed a volunteer field office in his home state of Florida, led phone banks, canvassing trips, and barnstorms, and, with Florida for Bernie’s endorsement, made a successful run to be selected as a delegate.

His number one issue is Medicare for All. He was raised in a military family, and, as a young person, never worried about seeing a doctor if he was sick. This led him to question why, if the military gets such great coverage, we can’t extend universal benefits to the entire population, as is the norm in every other country in the developed world.

Jim lived in Germany for almost ten years, where he witnessed firsthand the successes of European universal healthcare systems. Since returning to the States, he’s had the opposite experience with privatized healthcare here at home.

He was excited about the ACA when it was first implemented – until he realized how flawed it was. His monthly health insurance premiums increased as much as $500 a month from one year to the next, and there were fewer and fewer companies offering policies on the marketplace. Finally, his premiums increased to over $2200 a month and he couldn’t afford them anymore. The monthly premium increases ate into his business’ bottom line to the point where he was unable to keep his business afloat.

Even now, amidst a once-in-a-century pandemic, when public approval for Medicare for All is at 87% within the Democratic Party, and 69% overall, the DNC platform committee voted overwhelmingly against it. And so, Jim, along with hundreds of other delegates, are rejecting the platform.

Jim joined us on the podcast to discuss his life experiences with US and European healthcare systems, and the Democrats’ unwillingness to bend on this critical issue at such a dire time. Listen to our full conversation by clicking the player below:

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Photo::Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP

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