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 CassidyUN Security Council to meet after Turkey launches Syria offensive Trump faces growing GOP revolt on Syria To win the federal paid family leave debate, allow states to lead the way 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) CusackHill editor-in-chief: NBA is 'bending down' to 'almighty dollar' The Hill's Editor-In-Chief: Yang slams NBA and new Biden reporting The Hill's Morning Report — Arrest of Giuliani associates triggers many questions 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 WarrenWarren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter knocks Zuckerberg for invoking her father while defending Facebook Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — House Dems advance drug pricing bill | Cases of vaping-related lung illnesses near 1,500 | Juul suspends sales of most e-cigarette flavors MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren raised more money from Big Tech employees than other 2020 Democrats: Report Krystal Ball reacts to Ocasio-Cortez endorsing Sanders: 'Class power over girl power' Saagar Enjeti praises Yang for bringing threat of automation to forefront at Ohio debate MORE (I-Vt.). 

But the idea has not gained traction among all Democrats. 

Cassidy's Democratic colleague, Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Energy: Perry to step down as Energy secretary | Future of big-game hunting council up in the air | Dems lose vote against EPA power plant rule Senate Dems lose forced vote against EPA power plant rule Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever 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 BlasioNew York City lawmakers vote to close Rikers Island jail by 2026 2020 Presidential Candidates Cooperate, or else: New York threatens fines to force people to help block immigration enforcement 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 BidenWarren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump accuses Biden of 'quid pro quo' hours after Mulvaney remarks Testimony from GOP diplomat complicates Trump defense 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.