Kucinich: GOP’s anti-health reform push may fuel Medicare-for-all drive
Should Republicans push for the repeal of President Obama’s health care reform package in the next session of Congress, a Medicare-for-all plan would be politically easier to implement, a liberal congressman recently predicted.
“So, my Republican friends who are working very hard to demolish the bill, may, in fact, inadvertently, paradoxically be creating the opening to push single-payer forward again,” Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) told FoxNews Friday.
Kucinich, however, faces a fight to stick around Washington and push for a nationwide non-profit health care finance system because of congressional redistricting moves spearheaded by an Ohio General Assembly dominated by Republicans.
The US Census Bureau recently announced that the state of Ohio will lose two of its 18 congressional districts. This announcement fueled speculation that Kucinich, a seven-term congressman, could lose his seat because his Cleveland-area district has lost population, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.
“I don’t have any control over this process, so I’m not going to worry about it,” Kucinich, a fierce co-sponsor of HR 676, which would extend Medicare to every American, told the Plain Dealer in December.
However, Kucinich this week told voters in Ohio that if his district is eliminated, he will seek re-election regardless.
“I will not wait until the Ohio Legislature produces a new map to start thinking of the options. The question will not be: Who is my opponent? The question will be: Where is my district? Seriously,” Kucinich said in an email.
Kucinich already ruled out running in a Democratic primary against President Obama, with whom the congressman has clashed on the issues ranging from health care finance reform, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Wall Street banking regulation.
“They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president,” Robert Gibbs, Obama’s White House press secretary, said this past summer in a rail against what Gibbs deemed the “professional left” in America.
Kucinich, nonetheless, voted for Obama’s health care reform package and defended it on his recent appearance on FoxNews.
Bill Batchelder, the new GOP speaker of the Ohio House, told USA Today that Ohio Democrats could help their Republican counterparts remove Kucinich from office, if they were so inclined.
“That’s always a possibily,” he said. “It’s certainly not personal. Dennis and I have always been friends.”
With reporting by Daniel Tencer.