Harris clarifies private insurance stance: 'No, no' I don't think it should be eliminated

Presidential candidate Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump reignites court fight with Ninth Circuit pick MSNBC Climate Change Forum draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot Iowa Steak Fry to draw record crowds for Democrats MORE said Friday she doesn't support eliminating private insurance, appearing to backtrack from the position she took in the Democratic debate. 

Asked in an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday if she believed private insurance should be eliminated in the U.S., she said: "No, no. I do not."

ADVERTISEMENT

Harris raised her hand Thursday night when the panel was asked by moderator Lester Holt who supported eliminating private insurance in favor of a government-run health care plan.

 

Harris and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest Krystal Ball tears into 'Never Trump' Republicans 2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum MORE (I-Vt.) were the only candidates on the stage to raise their hands, but Harris said Friday she misunderstood the question.

"The question was would you give up your private insurance for that option and I said yes," Harris said Friday. 

"You heard it differently than others then," a "Morning Joe" panelist replied. 

"Probably, because that's what I heard," she said.

Harris has waffled on the issue of private insurance for months.

She's a co-sponsor of Sanders’s “Medicare for All” bill, which would make it illegal for private companies to offer plans that cover the same benefits as the government’s.

Sanders’s plan would cover every medically necessary service, including dental, vision and long-term care for people with disabilities. That would leave little room for private insurers to cover anything except cosmetic surgery, Sanders said on MSNBC in April.

Harris has seized on this technicality in the past to argue that Medicare for All wouldn't eliminate private insurance and that "supplemental coverage" would still exist.

"I am supportive of Medicare for all, and under Medicare for all policy, private insurance would certainly exist for supplemental coverage," she said on CBS Friday.

Excluding Harris, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest Pelosi wants to change law to allow a sitting president to be indicted MORE (D-Mass.) and New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioUber sues New York City to void 'cruising cap' limit The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump pushes back over whistleblower controversy The Hill's Campaign Report: De Blasio drops out | Warren gains support from black voters | Sanders retools campaign team | Warning signs for Tillis in NC MORE, along with Sanders, were the only candidates to say during the Democratic primary debates that they support eliminating private insurance in favor of a government run plan.

This story was last updated at 6:01 p.m.