- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Former Sen. Harry Reid says Democratic presidential candidates’ focus on a “Medicare for All” health policy is a loser for the 2020 election — and so is the push to cancel criminal penalties for illegal immigrants who jump the border.

Mr. Reid, who led Senate Democrats for more than a decade and was the key factor in passing Obamacare, told Vice News that there’s little chance of getting Medicare for All through Congress.

And he said decriminalizing illegal border crossings is an odd thing for the party’s candidates to focus on.

“It should be way, way down at the bottom of the list,” Mr. Reid told the outlet in a phone interview.

Asked if it hurts Democrats with voters, Vice said he responded curtly: “of course it is.”

He said decriminalizing border jumping would be “an open-door invitation for everybody to come at once.”

Mr. Reid, once a moderate Democrat who became more liberal as the party’s Senate leader, has close ties to a number of the Democrats running for president.

He served with most of the current senators in the race, and served for decades with former Vice President Joseph R. Biden.

In 2009 and 2010 he pushed through Obamacare in a series of legislative maneuvers that overcame the GOP filibuster abilities — though left the law somewhat wounded.

“I think that we should focus on improving Obamacare. We can do that — without bringing something that would be much harder to sell,” Mr. Reid told Vice.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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