Top contenders in the state’s primary on Tuesday, Jessica Cisneros and Greg Casar argue that after the bitter experience of the past two years, a single-payer health care system is needed more than ever.

By John Nichols, The Nation

The coronavirus pandemic is a lingering reality that will play an outsize role in the 2022 midterm elections. But it is a different issue than it was in 2020, when Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden could simply promise to do a better job than Donald Trump. In 2022, Democratic candidates have to not just be against the dishonest and dysfunctional responses of Republican ideologues to the pandemic. They have to be for an agenda that assures this country is prepared to respond to the ongoing threat posed by Covid-19 variants and the prospect of future pandemics that could be even more deadly.

To get the issue right, Democratic candidates must acknowledge the disproportionate impact of the Covid crisis on working class communities, especially communities of color, and the systemic inequities that have historically contributed to health disparities in the United States.

Jessica Cisneros speaks on stage at a campaign event

With that in mind, and with the midterm election season now ramping up, Democratic candidates and strategists would be wise to look at the approach adopted by a pair of Texans who are top contenders in the state’s primary election on March 1. While centrist Democrats claim that this is a time to pull back from progressive promises for sweeping health care reforms, congressional candidates Jessica Cisneros and Greg Casar beg to differ. They argue that the pandemic—which saw the state frequently experience the highest Covid death rate in the nation—has provided searing evidence of the need for a single-payer “Medicare For All” system.

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