Biden says he would bring back ObamaCare's individual mandate

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Poll: Biden holds five-point lead over Warren among New York Democrats MORE said in an interview that aired Friday on CNN that he would bring back ObamaCare's individual mandate if he is elected president. 

"Yes, I'd bring back the individual mandate," Biden told CNN's Chris CuomoChristopher (Chris) Charles CuomoSuper PAC head spars with CNN's Cuomo over Ocasio-Cortez ad Nadler: Impeachment inquiry a 'made-up term' but it's essentially 'what we are doing' CNN climate town hall finishes last in viewers among cable news broadcasts MORE on Thursday. 

The mandate, which is a financial penalty in the Affordable Care Act for Americans who don't have health insurance, was the main target of Republicans for years in their attempts to repeal Obama's signature health care law.

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The Republican tax bill, signed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE in 2017, eliminated the mandate.

Biden, who is the front-runner in the 2020 Democratic primary, played an integral role in the construction of the Affordable Care Act as former President Obama's vice president.

While the health care law has grown in popularity over the years, Democratic presidential contenders, including Biden, have said the law needs changes and updates. 

However, progressives in the race, including Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Kamala Harris calls for new investigation into Kavanaugh allegations MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Kamala Harris calls for new investigation into Kavanaugh allegations MORE (D-Mass.) have proposed a health care overhaul, saying ObamaCare does not go far enough. Both have backed moving toward a “Medicare for All” model. 

Biden told Cuomo that he would rather have an option for Americans to buy into Medicare for All. 

"If you provide an option for anybody who in fact wants to buy into Medicare for All, they can buy in," he said. 

"They buy in and they can do it. But if they like their employer-based insurance, which a lot of unions broke their neck to get ... they shouldn't have to give it up," he continued. "The flip of that is, if you don't go my way, and you go their way, you have to give up all of that." 

"What's going to happen when you have 300 million people landing on a health care plan? How long is that going to take? What's it going to do?" he said.