Biden campaign pushes back on Sanders' call to reject donations from insurers, drug makers

Biden campaign pushes back on Sanders' call to reject donations from insurers, drug makers
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Joe BidenJoe BidenButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California MORE's campaign pushed back after Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California On The Money: Trump appeals to Supreme Court to keep tax returns from NY prosecutors | Pelosi says deal on new NAFTA 'imminent' | Mnuchin downplays shutdown threat | Trump hits Fed after Walmart boasts strong earnings MORE's (I-Vt.) called on 2020 campaigns to reject contributions from health insurance and drug companies, which was seen as a dig aimed at the former vice president. 

Sanders, without naming any specific campaign, made the demand Wednesday in a speech defending his "Medicare for All" plan, which Biden has harshly criticized. 

Biden's campaign issued a response later on Wednesday, without specifically citing Sanders.

"Vice President Biden fought to get the biggest reform to our health care system in a generation done, so insurance companies know where he stands — and based on their reaction yesterday to his health care plan, we're not expecting too many contributions," Biden spokesman TJ Ducklo said in a statement. 

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Sanders' call to reject campaign contributions was seen as a dig at Biden, who has previously held large-dollar fundraisers with wealthy contributors from the health care industry.

Biden's healthcare proposal would not support a Medicare for All plan, but rather seeks to protect and build upon ObamaCare. 

Other top-tier primary candidates including Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Overnight Health Care: Cigarette smoking rates at new low | Spread of vaping illness slowing | Dems in Congress push to block Trump abortion rule Democratic senators introduce bill to push ICE to stop 'overuse' of solitary confinement MORE (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Following school shooting, Biden speaks out: 'We have to protect these kids' MORE (D-Mass.) embrace a Medicare for All plan. 

Biden has said Medicare for All would take coverage away from seniors, a claim that Sanders said on Wednesday is not true. 

The Sanders campaign tweeted a video accusing Biden of "lying about Medicare for All" ahead of his Wednesday speech where he made the pledge. 

“We won’t mention his name, but it might be a former vice president of the United States,” Sanders said in the video. 

“Look, I think it’s important that we have a health care debate on the facts and not on fear-mongering.”