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Ocasio-Cortez: Biden needs a 'real' health care plan

Ocasio-Cortez: Biden needs a 'real' health care plan
© Greg Nash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezEvery day should be Earth Day Liberal advocacy group stirs debate, discomfort with primary challenges Progressives divided over efforts to repeal SALT cap MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday said that the presumptive Democratic nominee, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden announces picks to lead oceans, lands agencies Overnight Defense: Top general concerned about Afghan forces after US troops leave | Pentagon chief: Climate crisis 'existential' threat to US national security | Army conducts review after 4 Black soldiers harassed at Virginia IHOP Feds expect to charge scores more in connection to Capitol riot MORE, needs a “real” health care plan to boost enough enthusiasm for his candidacy to beat President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: LeBron James's 'racist rants' are divisive, nasty North Carolina man accused of fraudulently obtaining .5M in PPP loans Biden announces picks to lead oceans, lands agencies MORE.

Ocasio-Cortez told The Associated Press that “at a bare minimum” the former vice president needs to create a health care plan “that helps extend health care to young people.” She said any plan needs to earn the approval of millennials and people of color. 

“This is not just about Donald Trump. It’s about a systemic structure in this country that is set up to fail working class people, the young and people of color,” she said. “We need a real plan and not just gestures.”

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The freshman representative supported Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPelosi pushes for drug pricing measure amid uncertainty from White House White House sees GOP proposal as legitimate starting point The Memo: Washington's fake debate on 'bipartisanship' MORE (I-Vt.) in the Democratic primary and has been a central voice in the progressive movement. She told the AP she understands Biden is working to appeal to more voters but emphasized the plan as necessary.

She made her comments to the AP two hours before Sanders endorsed Biden and declined through a spokesperson to speak to the news outlet after.

Ocasio-Cortez has not endorsed Biden but said she expects to eventually and added she has not ruled out campaigning for him.

After Sanders announced he was dropping out of the race, Biden made efforts to appease the progressive wing of the Democratic Party by advocating to move the Medicare eligibility from 65 to 60 and vowing to cancel federal student debt for many low- and middle-income borrowers. 

The former vice president has also pledged to choose a woman to be his vice presidential candidate.

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But Ocasio-Cortez said he hasn’t done enough to win over the progressives yet.

“Dropping Medicare to 60 is not going to help millennials, is not going to help this electorate that Biden is struggling with,” she said.

Biden faces a tough task of appealing enough to the left to earn their votes and not end up like former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFrench-American Foundation selects new president with fundraising background Pelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' Cuba readies for life without Castro MORE, while also maintaining a moderate platform to avoid attacks from President Trump.