This week, for the second time, Democratic presidential candidates are confronting each other on the debate stage. Ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden again appearing alongside sparring partner California Senator Kamala Harris, the Biden campaign released material disparaging the idea of “Medicare for all,” which would mandate government-managed health coverage across the board and Biden does not support. The former vice president — who remains a frontrunner in the race — instead wants to build on the foundation laid by the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare” and introduce a so-called “public option” for those looking for health insurance.
The “Team Joe” Twitter account insisted:
‘Let’s clear up the confusion about Medicare for All. We have the facts:
- Costs 30x more than @JoeBiden’s plan
- Only fully paid for by raising middle class taxes
- No option to keep your current insurance from your employer
@JoeBiden has a better plan’
Let’s clear up the confusion about Medicare for All. We have the facts:
❌Costs 30x more than @JoeBiden’s plan
❌Only fully paid for by raising middle class taxes
❌No option to keep your current insurance from your employer@JoeBiden has a better plan: https://t.co/9MWt84GzyT pic.twitter.com/04WTlXVyCd
— Team Joe (@TeamJoe) July 31, 2019
Biden’s no doubt most widely circulated past sparring with Harris was over racial issues. During the first round of candidate debates last month, Harris insisted that Biden did not have an appropriately strong record in favor of increasing the power of marginalized groups, pointing to issues like his past opposition to federally-mandated school busing in support of her point. That busing accomplished racial integration — and Harris herself participated as a child.
Harris was also one of the candidates who are overall in the minority but mostly in the definitively top tier who raised their hands in apparent favor of abolishing private insurance in favor of Medicare for all at those June debates. She eventually claimed that she misunderstood the question and was only answering that she would personally be willing to forego private insurance in favor of a government program, although Biden’s team still singles her out anyway. In the time since the first debate, she’s released a “Medicare for all” program that is much more measured than those proposed elsewhere in the candidate field, proposing that Americans be gradually moved to the program over a course of ten years (longer than any one president can stay in office and see this through, notably enough).
The leading proponents of more dramatic, shorter term Medicare for all plans include fellow leading presidential candidates Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Their side has insisted that tax hikes would be offset by dramatic slashes in insurance and health care costs elsewhere.
Check out Twitter’s response to Biden…
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