Sanders tweets support for Nevada Culinary Union days after health plan criticism

Sanders tweets support for Nevada Culinary Union days after health plan criticism

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Airbnb - House to pass relief bill; Trump moves to get US back to work Oil price drop threatens US fracking boom Democratic fears rise again as coronavirus pushes Biden to sidelines MORE (I-Vt.) on Thursday tweeted his support of the Nevada Culinary Union just days after the union warned its members against his “Medicare for All” plan.

Sanders said he stands with the union “fighting for health care, a pension and fair wages” as it tries to negotiate a contract with Valley Hospital in Las Vegas.  

The Culinary Union is a key force in elections in the state, and any negative messaging from the group could pose a challenge for a candidate’s chances of winning the state’s caucuses on Feb. 22. 

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The union wants a contract for workers who staff the cafeteria and clean the hospital rooms, but says the hospital’s parent company, UHS, won’t negotiate fairly. 

“Making $780 million in profit, [UHS] is one of the largest, most profitable hospital corporations in the country. They must put aside their greed, come to the table and negotiate a fair contract,” Sanders tweeted.

Sanders’s comments come after the Culinary Union distributed a flyer to its members that said the Vermont senator's health care plan would “End Culinary Healthcare.” Under his "Medicare for All" plan, all private health insurance would be replaced with a government-run plan. 

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The criticism from the Culinary Union drew harsh pushback from some Sanders supporters, so much so that the union issued a statement on Wednesday denouncing them for "viciously" attacking the group.

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegReuters poll finds Sanders cutting Biden national lead to single digits Biden says he'll adopt plans from Sanders, Warren Buttigieg guest-hosts for Jimmy Kimmel: 'I've got nothing else going on' MORE, a more moderate rival to Sanders, seized on the criticism, tweeting his support for the union on Thursday in English and Spanish. 

“I stand with [Culinary 226] and their fight for better wages, world class health care, and the American dream for working and immigrant families. No one should ever attack them for fighting and delivering for their members,” he said.

Buttigieg proposes an optional government-run health plan that would allow unions and others to keep their private health insurance if they want it.