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 CassidyStimulus checks debate now focuses on size, eligibility On The Money: GDP shrinks by record amount in second quarter amid virus lockdowns | Jobless claims rise for second straight week | McConnell tees up fight on unemployment benefits GOP senators propose stimulus checks of ,000 for both adults and children 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 Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Progress slow on coronavirus bill The Hill's Coronavirus Report: GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani says DC policymakers need to do more to support ventures and 'solo-preneurs'; Federal unemployment benefits expire as coronavirus deal-making deadlocks Hillicon Valley: House panel grills tech CEOs during much anticipated antitrust hearing | TikTok to make code public as it pushes back against 'misinformation' | House Intel panel expands access to foreign disinformation evidence 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 WarrenTrump says government to review 5M Kodak loan deal Michelle Obama supporters urge Biden to pick former first lady as running mate On The Money: Unemployment debate sparks GOP divisions | Pandemic reveals flaws of unemployment insurance programs | Survey finds nearly one-third of rehired workers laid off again MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersLongtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary Hillicon Valley: NSA warns of new security threats | Teen accused of Twitter hack pleads not guilty | Experts warn of mail-in voting misinformation Schiff, Khanna call for free masks for all Americans in coronavirus aid package MORE (I-Vt.). 

But the idea has not gained traction among all Democrats. 

Cassidy's Democratic colleague, Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs major conservation bill into law | Senate votes to confirm Energy's No. 2 official | Trump Jr. expresses opposition to Pebble Mine project Trump signs major conservation bill into law Overnight Defense: Embattled Pentagon policy nominee withdraws, gets appointment to deputy policy job | Marines, sailor killed in California training accident identified | Governors call for extension of funding for Guard's coronavirus response 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 BlasioNYC health commissioner quits over de Blasio's COVID-19 response Fear first, education last? MSNBC contributor Maya Wiley departs network to explore New York mayoral run 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 BidenMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Hillicon Valley: NSA warns of new security threats | Teen accused of Twitter hack pleads not guilty | Experts warn of mail-in voting misinformation Biden offers well wishes to Lebanon after deadly explosion 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.