November 15, 2019

Former Mass. gov. joins 2020 Democratic presidential field

Daily Briefing

    Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) on Thursday officially entered the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

    Where the 2020 Democratic candidates stand on health care

    About Patrick

    Patrick, age 63, served as Massachusetts' governor for two terms, from 2007 to 2015. Prior to his time as governor, Patrick served as assistant attorney general for civil rights under former President Bill Clinton's administration, general counsel at Texaco, and executive VP at Coca-Cola. Since leaving the governor's office, Patrick worked as a managing director at Bain Capital, and since September has served as a political contributor on CBS News.

    Patrick grew up in Chicago and attended Harvard University and Harvard Law School.

    Patrick is entering the Democratic presidential nomination race late in the season, with just three months before the Iowa caucus. While Patrick has been widely viewed as a viable Democratic presidential candidate, Patrick in December had announced that he would not run, citing the race's potential strain on friends and family.

    However, on "CBS This Morning" on Thursday, Patrick questioned whether the current field of Democratic candidates could "pull the nation together." He said, "We seem to be migrating to, on the one camp, sort of nostalgia—let's just get rid, if you will, of the incumbent president and we can go back to doing what we used to do." He added, "Or, you know, it's our way, our big idea, or no way. And neither of those, it seems to me, seizes the moment to pull the nation together."

    According to the Associated Press, Patrick's late entry into the race puts him at a disadvantage when compared with the other candidates, who have had several months to raise money and have had three opportunities to debate issues before the public.

    Health care stance

    During his eight years as governor, Patrick implemented a health care reform plan launched by his predecessor, Republican Mitt Romney, that later served as a model for the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

    Here's where Patrick stands on other prominent health care issues:

    Abortion: As governor, Patrick signed a law that gave police the authority to remove anti-abortion protesters from entrances to clinics if they were blocking access to the building. That law was later struck down by the Supreme Court.

    Health reform: While Patrick implemented the 2006 health care reform plan launched by Romney, which later served as a model for the ACA, Patrick's administration issued an apology during the launch of its ACA exchange website in 2013, which crashed and created a backlog of more than 50,000 paper applications. Patrick last year called Medicare for All a "terrific idea," but only if it is implemented "alongside various of the private options that are available" under the ACA. As governor, Patrick also signed legislation that linked health care cost increases in the state to the rate of growth of the state's economy.

    Opioid crisis: As governor, Patrick signed a law that requires insurers to provide up to 14 days of inpatient care for people with substance use disorders (O'Keefe, CBS News, 11/14; Page, AP/ TIME, 11/13; Allassan, Axios, 11/14).

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