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Health care a top issue at Detroit debate watch party

Evan James Carter
The Detroit News

Detroit — Health care was a priority issue for voters at a Democratic debate watch party Tuesday at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Attendees at the event, hosted by the national advocacy organization Black Voters Matter, also cited education funding and criminal justice reform as issues that are particularly important to them. 

Theresa Landrum and Mero Gonzalez talk during a commercial break during a debate watch party at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

"I feel like (U.S. Rep.) Tim Ryan and Sen. (Bernie) Sanders' back-and-forth on health care was the highlight," said Rod Adams, deputy director of campaigns with Detroit Action, which focuses on economic justice issues.

The watch party was part of a nine-city bus tour through Michigan by the Black Voters Matter Fund that started Monday and ends Aug. 2. The tour will be in Flint on Wednesday.

Yohannes Bolds of Detroit also was interested in what candidates were saying about healthcare.

"Bernie's been kicking their butt ... the healthcare (debate) was pretty good," Bolds said.

Autumn Butler, executive director of the Pontiac Policy Council, a community engagement organization, said she appreciated Sanders' assertiveness on his Medicaid for All proposal.  

Black Voters Matter hosts a Democratic debate watch party Tuesday night at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

"Democrats need to stop talking about Republican talking points," she said.

Before the debate, Butler said she was looking for candidates to discuss "a genuine plan to ensure that all students have access to a good public school in their neighborhood."

Butler also said she is interested in the issue of slavery reparations.

"A few of the candidates have spoken about reparations, but I'm curious to hear how they would do it. There are a million ways to do it," Butler said.