Biden says he would bring back ObamaCare's individual mandate

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Sanders to call on 2020 Democrats to reject money from drug, health insurance industries Harris tops Biden in California 2020 poll 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 CuomoCNN's Cuomo spars with Kris Kobach over whether Trump's tweet was racist Harris on Biden civil rights record: 'Not going to allow us to engage in revisionist history' Biden talks about son's struggles with mental illness, substance abuse 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 TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist 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 to call on 2020 Democrats to reject money from drug, health insurance industries The hidden connection between immigration and health care: Our long-term care crisis Harris tops Biden in California 2020 poll MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarris tops Biden in California 2020 poll The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Democrats fret over Trump cash machine 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.