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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) got lots of attention Thursday with a statement she made to HuffPost’s Matt Fuller.
It was about “Medicare for All,” which has become a defining issue in the Democratic presidential campaign, and whether Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Medicare for All’s best-known champion and Ocasio-Cortez’s first choice for 2020 Democratic nominee, could actually get such a plan through Congress.
“A president can’t wave a magic wand and pass any legislation they want,” Ocasio-Cortez warned, acknowledging the political obstacles such a proposal would inevitably encounter. “The worst-case scenario? We compromise deeply, and we end up getting a public option. Is that a nightmare? I don’t think so.”
Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t tempering her endorsement of Sanders or suggesting he back off Medicare for All. On the contrary, she made it clear ― both in the original quote and later on Twitter ― that one reason she supports Sanders is that he campaigns on his ideals, pushing the boundaries of debate as far as he can.
But Ocasio-Cortez was also recognizing that, at least in the near term, Congress is unlikely to pass anything as ambitious as Medicare for All ― and that more incremental progress could still be worthwhile.
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