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Warren: Unions would get voice in move to public insurance

By MICHELLE L. PRICEJuly 3, 2019
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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks at a campaign event Tuesday, July 2, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks at a campaign event Tuesday, July 2, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Democrat Elizabeth Warren said Tuesday unions that fought for their health care plans will have a seat at the negotiating table if she’s elected president and moves to end the private insurance system, but the Massachusetts senator would not commit to letting union members keep their plans.

“I think what’s important is that the unions be respected in the work that they’ve done and be part of the negotiations, but we’ve got to transition to a system that works better for everyone,” Warren told reporters after a campaign town hall Tuesday night in Las Vegas. “We need to get to a place where no family in America goes broke over medical bills.”

Nevada, the third-in-line early voting state, has a strong organized labor force that plays a major role in Democratic politics. Union leaders in Nevada and elsewhere have said a push by some in the Democratic field to move to public insurance is out of touch with the priorities of union members who fought hard for their plans.

Warren touched on her buffet of action plans at the event and some gun control policies she’d endorse, though she has not yet unveiled a detail gun plan.

Warren praised Nevada’s recent attempts to tackle gun violence. State lawmakers expanded background checks, banned bump stock devices that mimic automatic gunfire and imposed a so-called “red flag” law ” where guns can be removed from people considered to be a threat to themselves or others.

The senator said that states can’t tackle gun violence alone and that the national epidemic must be addressed by the U.S. government.

Warren called for universal background checks, a ban on bump stocks and said “weapons of war” do not belong on the streets. She did not dive into further details.

Glenda Farrell, a-68-year-old retired teacher in the audience, said Warren is one of her top choices for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“What I like about her is the fact that she makes everything very plain and simple. I like the fact that she has policies for everything. I don’t know what she does not have a policy for,” she said.

Farrell, who said she does some part-time work for the Democratic National Committee, said 70-year-old Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden are her top picks right now for the Democratic nomination, though she said she worries the 76-year-old “is a little more mature than I think most people want.”

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