Trump spokeswoman: Health care will be ‘big’ selling point for union workers

Kayleigh McEnany, a spokeswoman for President Trump’s reelection campaign, says health care will be one of the key selling points to union workers ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

“That will be a big, big selling point to union workers is health care,” McEnany told Hill.TV on Thursday, referring to a question over the role of health care in the 2020 elections. 

“Some Democratic candidates actively say I want to abolish employer-provided insurance,” she added, though not mentioning any specific candidate by name. “Others like Joe Biden say I want a public option that we would argue would crowd out employer-provided insurance, which is obviously key and very important to union workers who love their health care.”

She also said she thought job numbers would be a boost for the president. 

McEnany’s comments come as General Motors employees continue to strike over better wages and benefits. 

More than 45,000 United Automobile Workers (UAW) union members walked out of their jobs at GM on Monday, marking the union’s first national strike in more than a decade.

GM employees are demanding higher hourly wages, lump-sum payments and a better profit-sharing plan.

GM has said that it offered more than $7 billion in investments, more than 5,400 in jobs and improved wages and benefits. Negotiations began after the union contract expired over the weekend.

As union members continue to picket, GM has stopped paying striking workers’ health insurance and have instead shifted the cost onto the UAW union.

Terry Dittes, UAW’s GM head, said that union leaders would review its legal options in response to the move. 

During his 2016 campaign bid, Trump positioned himself as a champion of American workers and vowed to bring back factory jobs.

But, despite his statements about supporting workers, the president has taken a number of steps to weaken federal unions during his presidency, including decreasing labor protections and rolling back certain worker safety rules.

The Trump administration has also rolled back much of former President Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act. But so far, Republicans have failed to repeal and replace the health care law in its entirety. 

Several 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, including progressives Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), meanwhile are touting a “Medicare for all” plan, which would eliminate private insurance in favor of a government-run plan. But centrists like former Vice President Joe Biden maintains that Democrats should instead build on ObamaCare and expand access to care.

—Tess Bonn

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