This story may be updated.
In the last presidential Democratic nominating contest, Medicare for All became a leading issue for many progressives who saw it as a litmus test for earning their support.
Now that we have a new president who does not support Medicare for All, it remains to be seen how powerful the issue will be in nominating contests for the 2022 election cycle.
North Carolina may be the first test. An open Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Richard Burr has prompted a crowded field of contenders.
One notable Democratic candidate is former state Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley. It now appears that Beasley, who lost a close re-election last year, will oppose Medicare for All and will instead support “strengthening the Affordable Care Act,” according to a member of her campaign staff.
According to her staff, “[Beasley] knows that Medicare for All, single payer, whatever you call it, that’s not going to help [her].”
Beasley has made very few public statements about her views on policy. In one of her only interviews as a Senate candidate, she limited her thoughts on health care to her belief that people should “have good health care.” At this time, her website contains no mention of any policies she supports.
In the race for U.S. Senate in North Carolina, only two candidates — former state Senator Erica Smith and Richard Watkins — have clearly stated their support for Medicare for All. Both Smith and Watkins have made their support for single payer health care a major issue in their campaigns and feature the policy on their websites.