Sanders official predicts health care, climate change will be top issues in fifth Democratic debate

A national policy director for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders 'outraged' after MLB threatens to cut ties with minor league teams Booker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications Democrats threaten to skip next debate over labor dispute MORE’s (I-Vt.) 2020 campaign predicted that health care and climate change will be among the top issues raised during Wednesday's Democratic presidential primary debate.

“Obviously, health care is going to be near or at the top of the list,” Josh Orton said Tuesday during an appearance on “Rising.”

“I also think that one of the things we’re seeing more and more young people engage with — and you saw this with some of the Sunrise Movement that he and [Rep. Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez talk to in Iowa — is global climate change and how are we actually going to address this existential crisis,” he added.

Orton emphasized that Sanders has long been an advocate for addressing climate change, noting that Sanders in 2016 named global climate change as the biggest threat to national security.

“We see the science and if we’re to believe the scientists that we don’t have a lot of time left, we really have to create a comprehensive program to address climate change, so I really hope that climate change is at the top of the list,” he told Hill.TV.

In August, the Vermont senator rolled out a $16 trillion climate change plan to address climate change. The comprehensive plan calls for transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy and making sure that the U.S. economy is carbon-free by 2050.

But it is Sanders's signature "Medicare for All" plan that has garnered the most attention. The proposal looks to effectively get rid of a single-payer option in favor of a government-run plan.

Orton defended the progressive policy during his interview with Hill.TV.

"From the beginning, I think Bernie has always said that this is not going to be easy," he told Hill.TV. "And I think that's one of the things that people admire about him is that he knows that this is a big fight." 

Sanders along with nine other candidates are poised to face off in the fifth Democratic debate in Atlanta.

Former Vice President will take center stage alongside top rivals Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump executive order aimed at combating anti-Semitism stirs up controversy Booker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications Democrats threaten to skip next debate over labor dispute MORE (D-Mass.). The frontrunners will be flanked by Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats trading jabs ahead of Los Angeles debate Booker cancels NH activities, campaign says he has the flu MORE (D-N.J.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharBooker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications Democrats threaten to skip next debate over labor dispute Senate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial MORE (D-Minn.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegBooker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications Buttigieg rolls out endorsements from South Bend officials Democrats threaten to skip next debate over labor dispute MORE, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBooker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications Sanders revokes congressional endorsement for Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats trading jabs ahead of Los Angeles debate MORE (D-Calif.), businessman Andrew YangAndrew YangBooker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications Yang unveils plan to address care for children and adults with disabilities Democrats threaten to skip next debate over labor dispute MORE and billionaire Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr SteyerBooker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications Democrats threaten to skip next debate over labor dispute Krystal Ball: Influx of billionaire cash in 2020 contest is 'deeply corrosive' to 'civil society' MORE.

The debate will also feature an all-female panel of moderators, including MSNBC's Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowButtigieg says he doubts consulting work for insurer led to layoffs CNN Pelosi town hall finishes third in cable news ratings race, draws 1.6M SNL mocks Buttigieg campaign's viral dance video as part of strategy to get 'a negative percentage of the black vote' MORE and Andrea Mitchell as well as NBC News’ Kristen Welker and Ashley Parker.

—Tess Bonn