Biden calls for everyone having the choice to buy into Medicare

Biden calls for everyone having the choice to buy into Medicare

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's 12:30 Report: NY Times story sparks new firestorm over Kavanaugh Top Sanders adviser: 'He is a little bit angry' Working Families Party endorses Warren after backing Sanders in 2016 MORE on Monday called for giving everyone the option to buy into Medicare but stopped short of supporting the full "Medicare for All" proposal backed by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersChamber of Commerce argues against Democratic proposals for financial transaction taxes Top Sanders adviser: 'He is a little bit angry' Working Families Party endorses Warren after backing Sanders in 2016 MORE (I-Vt.).

Biden framed his approach as giving people a choice between government-run insurance and private plans. In contrast, the proposal from Sanders, a rival presidential candidate, would require everyone to be on a government plan.

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"Whether you're covered through your employer or on your own or not, you all should have a choice to be able to buy into a public option plan for Medicare," Biden said in a speech in Pittsburgh, the first major address of his presidential campaign, which he announced last week.

"Your choice," Biden added. "And if the insurance company isn't doing the right thing by you, you should have another choice."

That Biden is stopping short of Sanders’s plan is not surprising given that the former vice president is expected to run in a more moderate lane than Sanders’s progressive approach. The move, though, could still open Biden up to disappointment from some Medicare for All supporters in the primary.

Biden’s position is similar to that of fellow candidates such as former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegFive top 2020 Democrats haven't committed to MSNBC climate forum Abrams helps launch initiative to train women activists, organizers This is how Democrats will ensure Trump's re-election MORE (D), who has called for "Medicare for all who want it."

In contrast, Sanders and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisChamber of Commerce argues against Democratic proposals for financial transaction taxes Warren proposes new restrictions, taxes on lobbying Five top 2020 Democrats haven't committed to MSNBC climate forum MORE (D-Calif.) have been leaning the hardest into the idea of abolishing the current role of private insurers.

Biden was vice president when ObamaCare passed, and he praised that law.

"Affordable health care was a huge step forward, the ACA in our country," Biden said.

"We have to stop this administration's effort to gut it first, and then we have to move on and finish the job and make health care a right," he added. "Health care is a right, not a privilege."