Michigan governor to focus on health care, wages in State of the Union response

Michigan governor to focus on health care, wages in State of the Union response
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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is expected to focus on health care and wages for workers, among other topics, when she delivers the Democratic Party’s official response to President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

Whitmer will reference her experiences as a mother and serving as Michigan’s governor since last year to underscore problems facing everyday Americans, according to excerpts of her remarks released by congressional Democratic leaders.

“I was holding down a new job, caring for my newborn daughter as well as my mom at the end of her brain cancer battle. I was up all night with a baby and during the day, I had to fight my mom’s insurance company when they wrongly denied her coverage for chemotherapy,” Whitmer will say, according to the prepared remarks. “It was hard. It exposed the harsh realities of our workplaces, our health care system, and our child care system. And it changed me.”

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“It doesn’t matter what the president says about the stock market. What matters is that millions of people struggle to get by or don’t have enough money at the end of the month after paying for transportation, student loans, or prescription drugs,” she’ll add. “American workers are hurting. In my own state. Our neighbors in Wisconsin. And Ohio. And Pennsylvania. All over the country. Wages have stagnated, while CEO pay has skyrocketed.”

Democrats are emphasizing health care and income inequality — two issues that polls indicate are among the most important for Democratic voters heading into the 2020 election — as the party seeks to win back states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, which Trump won in 2016.

Whitmer will say in Democrats' State of the Union response on Tuesday that she is optimistic change can be made in this year’s election, noting activism from young Americans to tackle a litany of issues such as gun control, climate change and infrastructure.

“2020 is a big year,” she will say, according to the excerpts. “It’s the year my daughter Sherry will graduate from high school. It’s also the year she’ll cast her first ballot, along with millions of young Americans. The two things are connected. Because walking across the graduation stage is as important as walking into the voting booth for the first time.”