Culinary Union: 'Disappointing' to see Sanders supporters attacking us over health care criticism

Culinary Union: 'Disappointing' to see Sanders supporters attacking us over health care criticism

Nevada's Culinary Union accused supporters of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump Democratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed plane Neil Young opposes use of his music at Trump Mount Rushmore event: 'I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux' MORE (I-Vt.) of launching vicious attacks, intensifying a feud over health care between a leading Democratic presidential candidate and an influential player in the Nevada caucuses.

"It’s disappointing that Senator Sanders’ supporters have viciously attacked the Culinary Union and working families in Nevada simply because our union has provided facts on what certain healthcare proposals might do to take away the system of care we have built over 8 decades," the union said in a statement.

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The union, which represents 60,000 employees in Las Vegas and Reno, received pushback from Sanders's supporters after it circulated a flyer that stated the Vermont senator's "Medicare for All" health care plan would "End Culinary Healthcare."

That isn't wrong; under Medicare for All, private health insurance would cease to exist and would be replaced with a government-run plan.

Sanders and his campaign argue it would benefit the entire country, and Sanders also has argued that overall health care expenses would be reduced.

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But it would mean members of the culinary union could lose the health care coverage they have negotiated.

The flyer also stated, "Presidential candidates suggesting forcing millions of hard working people to give up their healthcare creates unnecessary division between workers, and will give us four more years of Trump." 

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden chips away at Trump's fundraising advantage Warnock raises almost M in Georgia Senate race in second quarter The Hill's Morning Report - Trump lays low as approval hits 18-month low MORE (D-Mass.) supports a version of Medicare for All that includes a three-year transition period.

Sanders's Nevada state director, Sarah Michelsen, responded to the flyer, saying, "Bernie has been clear that under Medicare for All, we will guarantee that coverage is as comprehensive or more so than the health care benefits union workers currently receive, and union health clinics, including the Culinary's health clinic, will remain open to serve their members."

According to the statement, union members went on strike for more than six years to protect the Culinary Health Fund, the health care plan the union currently has. The plan provides health care to more than 130,000 Nevadans.

"Our union believes that everyone has the right to good healthcare and that healthcare should be a right, not a privilege," the union said. "We have already enacted a vision for what working people need - and it exists now. Workers should have the right to choose to keep the healthcare Culinary Union members have built, sacrificed for, and went on strike for 6 years, 4 months, and 10 days to protect."

The butting of heads between the powerful union and the Sanders campaign comes just more than a week before the state's caucuses on Feb. 21.

Sanders on Tuesday narrowly beat former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights Democrats debate Biden effort to expand map against Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems, GOP dig in on police reform ahead of House vote MORE in New Hampshire's primary.