Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is running on a platform that calls for single-payer healthcare and free college tuition and, while I would personally love to see either policy implemented, anyone who actually remembers the struggle to pass the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) -- which was a very conservative-friendly law -- knows Bernie's platform is a pipe-dream.
Finding the votes to essentially nationalize all healthcare would be a struggle on its own, but Sanders' platform also calls for raising taxes by a significant amount on virtually every class of people from the very bottom to the top.
House Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi knows the struggle as well as anyone and, during a Democratic issues conference held yesterday, Pelosi bluntly stated that Democrats will not run on a campaign of raising everyone's taxes.
"We're not running on any platform of raising taxes," Pelosi said during a press briefing to launch the Democrats' yearly issues conference in Baltimore, Md. "We do want to have a fairer tax system, and … we hope that we can do that this year." [...]
"He's talking about a single-payer, and that's not going to happen. I mean, does anybody in this room think that we're going to be discussing a single-payer?" she asked. "I've been for single-payer for 30 years, and it is a very popular idea in our country. But we have made a decision about where we're going on healthcare."
There's a very high probability that the next president, even if they're a Democrat, will be forced to deal with a Congress that is still at least partially controlled by Republicans. Moreover, even if Democrats narrowly retake the Senate, they will not have the benefit of a super-majority capable of overriding filibusters.
Consider the virtual impossibility that a Republican-controlled House of Representatives would follow Bernie Sanders' plan and then consider that House Democrats wouldn't support it either.
Congressional Democrats were forced to go to extreme measures and use budget reconciliation to implement the entirety of the Affordable Care Act even though they controlled both chambers of Congress. Even that would not be possible in a hypothetical Sanders administration because congressional Democrats wouldn't support it.
To be fair, Hillary Clinton has promoted a few lofty policy proposals of her own that probably cannot pass through the dysfunctional Congress she would inherit as president, but she isn't calling for a wholesale transformation of the country. Hillary Clinton is running first and foremost to protect the progress we have made under President Obama and expand his policies wherever possible.