Colorado Senator Michael Bennet’s Ambitious Presidential Campaign Focuses on Pragmatic Solutions for All Americans

May 28, 2019 by TWN Staff
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) speaks during the North American Building Trades Unions Conference at the Washington Hilton April 10, 2019 in Washington, DC. Many Democrat presidential hopefuls attended the conference in hopes of drawing the labor vote. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images/TNS)

Candidate: Michael Bennet

State of Residence: Colorado

Campaign Website: https://michaelbennet.com

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) speaks during the North American Building Trades Unions Conference at the Washington Hilton April 10, 2019 in Washington, DC. Many Democrat presidential hopefuls attended the conference in hopes of drawing the labor vote. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images/TNS)

Short Bio: Michael Bennet has represented Colorado in the United States Senate since 2009. Recognized as a pragmatic and independent thinker, he is driven by an obligation to create more opportunity for the next generation. Michael has built a reputation of taking on Washington dysfunction and working with Republicans and Democrats to address our nation’s greatest challenges— including education, climate change, immigration, health care, and national security. Before serving in the Senate, Michael worked to restructure failing businesses and helped create the world’s largest movie theater chain. As superintendent of the Denver Public Schools, he led one of the most extensive reform efforts in the country, resulting in substantial, sustained academic improvement for Denver’s children. He lives in Denver with his wife and three daughters. [U.S. Senate Website]

Fun Fact: Michael Bennet’s Jewish Grandparents Fled Warsaw After World War II

On the Issues

Vision Statement: “America calls itself the land of opportunity. It doesn’t feel that way today. Wages are stagnant, costs are rising, and the economic inequality in our country is only growing worse. I’m running for President to build opportunity for every American. We need ambitious solutions to our country’s greatest challenges.”

Health Care: As Democrats debate how best to expand health coverage, Tim Kaine and Michael Bennet are trying to ensure the party doesn’t swing too far to the left.

The Virginia and Colorado senators next week will reintroduce their “Medicare X” plan, which would create a new public option for health insurance — an idea that was originally part of Obamacare but was jettisoned for being seen, at the time, as too progressive.

“180 million people in America get their insurance through an employer-based plan and Medicare X gives people the opportunity to decide whether they want to stay on that plan,” Bennet said in an interview. “Some of the other plans take away insurance from those 180 million.”

Under their bill, to be introduced on Tuesday, people would have the option of purchasing the plan on the Obamacare individual and small-business exchanges. Members of the plan would have access to the Medicare network of doctor in addition to the benefits of other plans under the Affordable Care Act like maternity and newborn care. It would also establish a reinsurance program to reduce premiums.

The latest version of the bill also would expand access to tax credits. Obamacare allows for tax credits for people whose income is up to 400 percent of the federal poverty line. The proposal would remove that cap and allow people who make more than the threshold to be eligible for the tax credit — whether they’re on a Medicare X plan or a private insurance plan. [Politico]

Trade & Agriculture:  “Michael will partner with farmers and ranchers to create new opportunities for growth locally and globally, streamline regulations, make the Department of Agriculture more accessible, and crack down on abuses by big companies against small- and medium-sized producers. And, his public health care option, Medicare-X, will come to rural areas first.” [Official Website]

Jobs/Economy/Taxes: “Michael will seize the economic opportunity of combating climate change—providing new opportunities for farmers, ranchers, and rural communities to become more resilient and to invest in zero-emissions energy while growing the economy.

He will work to fix roads and bridges that need repairing; upgrade and expand our mass transit systems, electric grid, and airports; and connect rural communities to high-speed, reliable broadband.

He will make strategic, job-creating investments at home that help us out-compete China in the industries of the future—such as advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, superconductors, and quantum computing.

Michael will work with rural communities to make sure they have what they need to be competitive and that generations to come can live a good life in rural America. He will end the trade war and fix our broken immigration system, so our farmers and ranchers have access to global markets and can find the workers they need. He will empower local leaders to connect rural economies and schools to high-speed, reliable broadband and to drive federal funding for rural infrastructure projects.” [Official Website]

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