Kamala Harris backs single-payer health care, then backtracks


In January, Harris participated in a televised town hall for CNN.

It was not the first time Harris has had to clarify her position on private health insurance. There are certainly many takeaways from the debates, and key among these is the continuing erosion of support for private health insurance on the left. But the next day, speaking on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Harris backtracked and said she only supports Sanders' single-payer, government-run insurance plan, but not the elimination of private insurance.

"I think that's kind of ageism to tell you the truth", Sanders, who is 77, responded when a journalist asked about the "generational argument being made by one of your younger rivals".

However, Harris told reporters afterwards she interpreted the question as referring to a personal choice and said she did not support eliminating private insurance completely.

During the first Democrat debate Wednesday night, statist and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren vowed to destroy the private health insurance market by replacing it with a completely government run program. Harris, a former California attorney general, also drew endorsements in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and SC, as well as in her home state, her campaign said. She now says that the question that she was answering was about her own insurance.

In discussing the understanding, however, Harris has bristled at the understanding that the Sanders bill would ban internal most insurance coverage, pronouncing it may maybe maybe presumably well maybe quiet allow "supplemental" insurance coverage.

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"That means boldly transforming our dysfunctional system by ending the use of private health insurance, except to cover non-essential care like cosmetic surgeries", Sanders said".

By Friday morning, however, she was insisting she misheard the question.

Kamala Harris has had trouble with the question of whether she would retain a role for private insurance in a "Medicare for All" system. Instead, she said she supported Medicare for All. Period. She has co-sponsored other pieces of legislation that she sees as a path to getting us there, but this is the plan she is running on. And the reality of how this affects real people is captured in a story that many of us heard and I will paraphrase.

Harris and Vermont Sen.

"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 - who of us has not had that situation where you've gotta wait for approval?" In a statement, it said: "The Biden administration will give every American the right to choose a public option like Medicare". But Lily, we know that same question was a big moment the night before and it was clear then that the question was about abolishing all private insurance.

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