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Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has announced more details about his health care proposal.

A roundup of campaign news items of interest for Thursday, September 19, 2019:

BUTTIGIEG PROPOSES ‘MEDICARE FOR ALL WHO WANT IT:’ Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has often described his health care proposal as “Medicare for all who want it,” and has now announced more details.

His plan would include a public option and guarantee universal coverage. His campaign said the plan will achieve the goal of universal coverage without forcing Americans off their private insurance plans.

The South Bend, Indiana, mayor said his plan also would expand subsidies to make marketplace plans more affordable for eligible Americans, cap marketplace premium payments at 8.5 percent of income, increase price transparency, and cap out-of-pocket costs for seniors on Medicare.

“We’re at this moment of crisis because of a failure of leadership,” Buttigieg said in a statement. “For years, Washington politicians have allowed the pharmaceutical industry, giant insurance companies, and powerful hospital systems to profit off of people when they are at their sickest and most vulnerable. My ‘Medicare for All Who Want It’ plan will create a health care system that puts power in the hands of each American.”

LEGALIZE IT, O’ROURKE SAYS: Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke introduced his proposal to legalize recreational marijuana and grant clemency to anyone currently serving time for marijuana possession.

The former congressman from Texas also proposed providing grants for Americans formerly imprisoned for nonviolent marijuana offenses. The grants would be funded by federal tax revenue on marijuana sales.

“We need to not only end the prohibition on marijuana, but also repair the damage done to the communities of color disproportionately locked up in our criminal justice system or locked out of opportunity because of the war on drugs,” O’Rourke said in a statement. “These inequalities have compounded for decades, as predominantly white communities have been given the vast majority of lucrative business opportunities, while communities of color still face over-policing and criminalization. It’s our responsibility to begin to remedy the injustices of the past and help the people and communities most impacted by this misguided war.”

LAWMAKER ENDORSES HARRIS: Kamala Harris’ Democratic presidential campaign has been endorsed by Ross Wilburn, a newly minted Iowa state legislator.

Wilburn, a former Democratic primary candidate for governor, recently won a special election to replace a retired legislator in an Ames-area district in the Iowa House. Harris is a U.S. senator from and former state attorney general of California.

“I am so inspired to campaign in Kamala’s Corner. She reminds us that this election can’t just be about getting rid of Trump -- it is about writing the next chapter,” Wilburn said in a statement provided by the Harris campaign. “I am confident that she will work tirelessly to restore and protect our civil rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, voting rights, disability rights, rights of Dreamers, enact comprehensive criminal justice reform and restore environmental protections. I know that she has the executive, legislative, and life experience to get it done.”

1 MILLION FEELING THE BERN: Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders announced his campaign has reached 1 million individual donors, claiming to be the fastest candidate to reach that threshold and the only Democratic campaign with more donors than Republican president Donald Trump.

“Our strength is in numbers, and that is why Bernie Sanders is the only candidate who is able to say his campaign will rely only on grassroots funding in both the primary and against Donald Trump,” Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir said in a statement. “Like all campaigns we are beholden to our donors, and we’re proud to stand with one million working people.”

FRANKEN ANNOUNCES ENDORSEMENTS: A state legislator and a former gubernatorial candidate are among the Iowans endorsing Michael Franken’s U.S. senate campaign, he announced.

Franken is one of four Democrats running to be the party’s nominee in Iowa’s U.S. Senate race. The winner will face Republican first-term incumbent U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst.

Franken, a U.S. Navy veteran from Sioux City, has been endorsed by Sioux City state legislator Tim Kacena, former Democratic primary candidate for governor John Norris, former Woodbury County party chairman Rick Mullin, and Richard Bender, a longtime staffer for former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin and the architect of the Democratic Iowa caucuses.

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