Democrat Senator Kamala Harris kickstarted her 2020 presidential bid in a big way by telling a crowd at a CNN town hall event that she would completely get rid of the private healthcare system.
In the event, Harris explicitly said people would not be able to keep their doctors…or their guns… or the border wall.
After Harris’ comments drew a tremendous backlash—less than 24 hours later, she is backpedaling her far-left policy.
“By stating she would eliminate private insurers as a necessary part of implementing ‘Medicare-for-all,’ California Sen. Kamala Harris during a CNN town hall Monday night sent a shockwave through the national health care debate,” CNN reports.
So, as a result, Harris said she would be open to considering plans which keep private health insurance intact. Via CNN:
Harris’ comments underscored the extent to which a move to single payer would radically overhaul the current system and, in frankly addressing one of the transition’s most politically difficult steps, stepped directly into her critics’ crosshairs.
Republicans attacked Harris within minutes of her remarks, tweeting that she “says she wants to eliminate private insurance even if you like your plan.” By Tuesday morning, former Starbucks boss Howard Schultz was piling on and fellow billionaire potential presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, was dismissing the entire plan as a fiscally ruinous pipe dream.
As the furor grew, a Harris adviser on Tuesday signaled that the candidate would also be open to the more moderate health reform plans, which would preserve the industry, being floated by other congressional Democrats. It represents a compromise position that risks angering “Medicare-for-all” proponents, who view eliminating private health insurance as key to enacting their comprehensive reform.
During the CNN townhall, Harris and CNN host Jake Tapper took a number of questions from members of the audience. One of which concerned the affordability of health insurance and keeping rates low.
“I believe the solution — and I actually feel very strongly about this — is that we need to have Medicare for all,” Harris responded, as the National Review reports. “That’s just the bottom line.”
“So for people out there who like their insurance, they don’t get to keep it?” Tapper asked, seeking clarification.
“Let’s eliminate all of that,” the California Democrat answered, “let’s move on.”
“Well, listen, the idea is that everyone gets access to medical care, and you don’t have to go through the process of going through an insurance company, having them give you approval, going through the paperwork, all of the delay that may require,” she said. “Who of us has not had that situation where you’ve got to wait for approval, and the doctor says, well, I don’t know if your insurance company is going to cover this. Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on.”
The National Review adds:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
The policy, which is widely-viewed as a litmus test among potential Democratic presidential candidates, mandates that every American to purchase their health insurance through the government. It would require $32.6 trillion in new spending over ten years, according to the Mercatus Center. Doubling the corporate and individual income tax would not cover the cost of the program, according to the analysis.