The Michigan primary election for Michigan’s 12th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is on Aug. 4. Solomon Rajput, a current medical student at the University of Michigan, is taking a leave of absence to run for Congress and challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., who has served three terms as the representative from the 12th district. The Dingell family has represented the district for the past 87 years –– Dingell was preceded by her husband John Dingell Jr. and his father John Dingell Sr. Candidate Jeff Jones is running uncontested in the Republican primary for the 12th district.
The Washtenaw County Democratic Party recently hosted a debate for Rajput and Dingell where they discussed the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy and the environment. Last week, The Daily met with both Democratic candidates to discuss their experience, main policy issues, campaign strategies and the importance of voting in the upcoming election before the primary.
Medicare for All and Healthcare
Though both candidates support Medicare for All, Dingell cited universal healthcare as her top issue going into a new Congress in 2021 and was an original co-sponsor of the Medicare for All Act in 2019.
“The number one issue that I am going to get done is Medicare for All,” Dingell said. “I think every person in this country has a right, when they’re sick, to be able to go to the doctor (and) not have to think about (being) able to afford the treatment that they need. I have always felt this way but having been a caregiver for five years, and seeing this (first-hand), I know I’m luckier than many and the days that I was desperate, I couldn’t navigate the system. I couldn’t make it work.”
Rajput spoke on the current healthcare system’s need for reform, calling it a “dystopia,” and told The Daily that his campaign supports Medicare for All systems.
“We are ardently supporting a Medicare for All system, single-payer health care system that would guarantee health care for all people in this country, because right now, our system could not be more dysfunctional,” Rajput said. “Our health care system is kind of the health care system you’d find in a dystopia.”
Rajput also said Medicare for All is more necessary than ever amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“(People are) not only worried about getting the virus,” Rajput said. “They’re also worried about losing (their) job and losing their health care, and then not being able to get treatment for the virus because they no longer have health care. So still, (a) Medicare for All systems is something that we’re really fighting for.”
Rajput said his experience as a medical student gives him a unique, first-hand understanding of health care issues.
“We go see patients (and) we try to figure out what’s going on with them,” Rajput said. “So often, we have to tell patients we know exactly what’s going on with you and we got the perfect…