Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have joined together this week to launch “Unity Task Forces” for Climate Change and Health Care.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is helping Joe Biden’s presidential campaign develop proposals by co-chairing a climate policy panel that the former vice president created as part of a larger effort to appeal to the party’s left wing. AOC has championed the movement for a Green New Deal working with the Sunrise Movement and other advocacy organizations to raise climate change awareness. Varshini Prakash, the 26-year-old president of the Sunrise Movement, has also accepted a role on the climate task force. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, a top Biden surrogate, will be the other co-chair of the climate panel. He negotiated the Paris Climate Accord intended to reduce global production of greenhouse gases.
The climate task force exists alongside groups on criminal justice restructuring, immigration, health care, education and the economy. The task forces include five members picked by Biden and three picked by Sanders.
Five members of the health-care group support “Medicare for All”: the House author of the current legislation, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.); Medicare for All caucus member Rep. Robin L. Kelly (D-Ill.); SEIU President Mary Kay Henry; and former gubernatorial candidates Don Berwick and Abdul El-Sayed. A sixth member, Sherry Glied, supports an Australia-style universal Medicaid system. “Advocacy for Biden’s own primary position — that Medicare for All would be too expensive and undermine the gains of the Obama years — is shunted to the margins,” according to The Washington Post.