The establishment wing of the Democratic Party has spent decades receiving dump-trucks full of money from the insurance industry and then, totally coincidentally, explaining that the time isn't right for single-payer for completely unrelated reasons.
See, for example, that time in our long-distant history when California's super-woke, hashtag-resistance-oriented governor Jerry Brown was just not able to sign California's single-payer health-care bill because that asshole sellout Jerry Brown wouldn't let him.
The Warren/Sanders wing of the Democratic Party, embodied in the Our Revolution grassroots group, is making it increasingly clear that any Democrat who wants to hold office, but won't sign up for single payer, can expect a primary challenge. They are flipping out.
I'm celebrating! In the runup to 2020, we'll create a bunch of these litmus tests for so-called progressives: meaningful finance-industry regulation, bringing back anti-trust enforcement, etc, etc. We'll fund those candidates with small-money donations and ring our neighbors' doorbells to explain that finally, there's someone to vote for, rather than someone to vote against.
"There's a concern that [Sanders allied] people will try to make a stir," said a senior Democratic aide working on a 2018 campaign. "You can't just be a liberal Democrat in a lot of these states and be elected. [So] the question is how we improve the lives of people instead of playing these political games."
Sanders allies don't find that argument convincing.
"Any Democrat worth their salt that doesn't unequivocally say Medicare-for-all is the way to go? To me, there's something wrong with them," said former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, president of Our Revolution. "We're not going to accept no more hemming and hawing. No more game playing. Make your stand."
Sanders himself has stood alongside Democrats in fights like the recent one against the GOP's health care plans. He's toured states with wavering Republican senators to pressure them on the issue and quickly condemned a recent single-payer measure pushed by Republican Sen. Steve Daines as a ploy designed to trick Democrats.
Sanders 'litmus test' alarms Democrats