At home and recovering from recent tracheostomy surgery to improve his breathing, dying healthcare activist Ady Barkan on Wednesday issued a video message to remind former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden that he would still like to have meet in person to have a discussion about Medicare for All and the nation's ongoing crisis of unaffordable care.
An outspoken proponent of Medicare for All as the best and only solution to provide coverage to everyone in the country for less cost overall than the current for-profit system, Barkan noted Biden's opposition to that approach, but said: "We may disagree, but if you want to be president, you'll have to have some hard conversations."
Thank you all for your kind messages! Privileged to say that I am home with Carl and @rachael_scar. @JoeBiden, my invitation still stands. We may disagree, but if you want to be president, you'll have to have some hard conversations.— Ady Barkan (@AdyBarkan) October 2, 2019
While both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren—the two other top-tier candidates in the Democratic primary—both support a Medicare For All, Biden has consistently attacked the plan and even adopted frequently parroted industry and Republican Party talking points against it.
As Common Dreams reported last month, Barkan prior to his surgery had implored Biden to meet with him like 2020 Democrats, including Warren and Sanders, have donein order to speak face-to-face about the nation's healthcare woes and what can be done to fix them.
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"Look a dying man in the eyes and tell me how we fix this country," Barkan said to Biden at the time. "We may disagree, but that's okay."
Biden's refusal so far to accept the invitation has caused many to question why:
Biden's intent seems to be running out the clock on Ady Barkan.— Matt Kuhns (@mjkuhns) October 2, 2019
If saying that upsets people, I'm sorry, but that's an valid description of the situation so how about being upset with the situation not the description.
Linking to a online petition on Wednesday, Barkan asked supporters to join the campaign pressing Biden to meet and talk with him.
"There is only one candidate who has not responded to Ady’s invitation: Joe Biden. So we have a message for Joe Biden: Please Mr. Vice President, respond to Ady's invitation," the petition reads, in part. "We're asking Joe to share his personal and powerful health care story like his colleagues, and explain his vision of health care in America. It should be more than a 30 second soundbite on the debate stage, or a 2 minute TV ad."