Biden campaign rips 'Medicare for All,' calls on Dems to protect Affordable Care Act

Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' Democrat representing Pennsylvania district Trump carried plans to vote to impeach  MORE’s presidential campaign expanded his critiques against “Medicare for All” and pressed its opponents to fight to protect and expand the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which the former vice president played a crucial role in ushering through Congress. 

Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director Kate Bedingfield detailed Republican efforts to overhaul the Obama administration’s signature legislation.

Bedingfield said Democrats should work to protect the law instead of enacting a plan the campaign says would effectively kill it. 

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“With all of these renewed threats, as Democrats we should be presenting a united front to protect the law we rallied together to pass,” Bedingfield wrote in a Medium post. “Defending Obamacare is how Democrats took back the House. And it’ll be one way we take back the Presidency from Trump.” 

“Joe Biden has been very clear: he will not support any policy that means getting rid of Obamacare. He will oppose Republican efforts; he will oppose Democratic efforts,” she continued. 

The health care debate has taken center stage in the Democratic presidential primary, with Biden and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSaagar Enjeti says Buttigieg's release of McKinsey client list shows he 'caved to public pressure' Sanders endorses Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur for Katie Hill's former House seat Biden hires Clinton, O'Rourke alum as campaign's digital director MORE (I-Vt.), a favorite of the party’s progressive flank, trading barbs about their respective plans.

The former vice president has proposed expanding the ACA while offering a government-run “public option” and allowing people to keep their private insurance if they so choose, while Sanders, who has emerged as one of the staunchest proponents of a Medicare for All platform, said his plan would eliminate private insurance. 

“At the end of the day, you’ve either got to be on the side of the people or the side of the health insurance companies. I know which side I’m on,” Sanders tweeted this week, directly referencing Biden in an attached video.

Biden has expressed concerns with Sanders’s plan, saying this week it could lead to a lapse in coverage for millions and that “starting over makes no sense to me at all.” 

“I am disappointed, I have to say, in Joe, who is a friend of mine, really distorting what Medicare for All is about,” Sanders shot back in an interview with The New York Times. “And unfortunately, he is sounding like Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE. He is sounding like the health care industry in that regard.”

Bedingfield, noting that “a few of the Democratic candidates for president are suggesting a complete overhaul of our health care system,” went through a list of what the campaign claims would be the downsides of a Medicare for All plan, including a price tag of $30 trillion to $40 trillion and disruptions to existing Medicare coverage.

She wrote that all Democratic presidential contenders want to eventually achieve universal health care coverage but expressed confidence that put up against more progressive plans, voters would see the virtues of Biden’s platform.

“So let’s have the debate: build upon what’s been working in Obamacare? Or scrap it altogether and start from scratch? Joe Biden looks forward to continuing that conversation on the trail, and we’re confident that once voters look beyond Twitter and catch-phrases, they’ll see which plan will better put us on a path to the goal we’re all striving towards,” she wrote.