When Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders visited Beverly Hills last May, he made a full-throated appeal for California to “lead the country” and pass a pending state proposal to establish single-payer healthcare.
On Friday, he’ll return to California for a San Francisco speech trumpeting his own higher-stakes plan — a bill to drastically overhaul the nation’s healthcare system by covering everyone through Medicare.
The push for single-payer, in which the government pays for residents’ medical care, has already rattled California’s political landscape. Now, the Sanders measure brings an additional jolt, elevating the issue to a national debate that has implications for the future direction of the Democratic Party and early jockeying in the 2020 presidential race.
"Late Night" host Seth Meyers focused on Orange County Rep. Dana Rohrabacher on Wednesday in a segment looking at the Republican congressman's relationship with Russia, titled "Who the Hell is Dana Rohrabacher?"
Orange County Rep. Dana Rohrabacher officially got another challenger this week. Kevin Kensinger, 33, is an investor from Aliso Viejo and is running as an independent in the 48th Congressional District.
Kensinger, who filed papers with the Federal Election Commission this week, says he thinks using an agenda-driven campaign will appeal to members of both parties as well as the district's growing number of voters who don't register by party.
California could stand to lose the most under the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill that would roll back the Affordable Care Act, which is perhaps why GOP members of Congress have stayed mostly silent on the Republican-backed proposal.
But one congressional challenger, Republican James Veltmeyer, called it a "major step in the right direction."
Veltmeyer, a physician from La Jolla, is running against Rep. Scott Peters (D-San Diego) in the 52nd Congressional District. "There is a lot of good stuff in this legislation," he said in a statement Wednesday.
Gov. Jerry Brown hasn't yet signed legislation making California a so-called sanctuary state, but state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León is preparing to defend it in court.
In between several immigration events in Washington on Wednesday, De León (D-Los Angeles) said he met with former U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. — who has served as outside counsel to the Legislature for much of the year — "to continue to further discuss inoculating California from [U.S. Atty. Gen.] Jeff Sessions' Department of Justice."
Passed early Saturday by the Legislature, the sanctuary state bill would limit state and local law enforcement communication with federal immigration authorities and prevent officers from questioning and holding people on immigration violations.