GOP sen: Democrats talking about 'Medicare for All' shows they're unhappy with ObamaCare

GOP sen: Democrats talking about 'Medicare for All' shows they're unhappy with ObamaCare
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyBottom Line I'm not a Nazi, I'm just a dude: What it's like to be the other Steve King Washington takes historic step forward on paid parental leave MORE (R-La.) said on Wednesday that 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls' talk about "Medicare for All" shows that Democrats are unhappy with the current state of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. 

“The fact that Democrat candidates are calling for Medicare for All, clearly indicates they understand there are incredible flaws with the Affordable Care Act, and they would like to scrap it,” Cassidy, who has a medical background, told The Hill's Editor-in-Chief Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackThe Hill's Editor-in-Chief: Biden's lack of energy is an issue The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy The Hill's Morning Report — Will Congress do anything on gun control? MORE at The Hill’s Future of Healthcare Summit. 

The event was sponsored by Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Horizon and Amgen Biosimilars, and partnered with the American Public Health Association.


Cassidy, who has led previous failed efforts to repeal and replace the 2010 law, struck a bipartisan tone, saying discontent on the health care law could lead to changes both sides can agree on. 

“I think I can say I’ve recognized those flaws for a little bit longer, and I would like to address it as well,” he continued. “Hopefully we come together on that.”

Health care proved to be a major motivation for Democratic voters in 2018, with candidates warning that electing and reelecting Republicans would result in more uninsured Americans. 

Medicare for All has become a major issue in the Democratic primary, with the idea being brought to the forefront by Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenKrystal Ball: Elites have chosen Warren as The One; Lauren Claffey: Is AOC wrong about the Electoral College? Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona McConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 candidates have the chance to embrace smarter education policies Bernie Sanders Adviser talks criminal justice reform proposal, 'Medicare for All' plan Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona MORE (I-Vt.). 

But the idea has not gained traction among all Democrats. 

Cassidy's Democratic colleague, Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Energy: Green groups sue Trump over Endangered Species Act changes | Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency | Wildfires in Amazon rainforest burn at record rate Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency out west GOP senator: Gun control debate 'hasn't changed much at all' back home MORE (W.Va.) warned against Medicare for All at the health care summit on Wednesday, telling The Hill's Steve Clemons that there are current issues with funding the program as it is. 

“We can’t even pay for Medicare for some and to go Medicare for All, we can’t take care of those who are depending on it right now,” Manchin said. 

The idea hasn't caught on with all Democrats on the campaign trail either. 

Warren and New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioMayor de Blasio, the small business killer The Hill's Morning Report - Trump touts new immigration policy, backtracks on tax cuts De Blasio's video snafu earns laughter in Iowa MORE (D) were the only candidates to raise their hands in support of abolishing private health insurance during the first night of the 2020 debates. 

Other Democrats have instead acknowledged they believe former President Obama's signature health care law has made tremendous progress in the field but needs fixes. 

"Let's be clear: We shouldn't tear the Affordable Care Act down: We should build on it," Democratic front-runner and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona Giuliani says he discussed Biden with Ukrainian official MORE, who was not on Wednesday night's stage, tweeted during the live forum. 

"The Biden administration will give every American the right to choose a public option like Medicare to ensure everyone has access to the quality, affordable health care they deserve," he continued.