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 BidenTrump shakes up WH communications team The Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic The Intercept's Ryan Grim says Cuomo is winning over critics 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 SandersDrugmaker caps insulin costs at to help diabetes patients during pandemic The Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic Sen. Brown endorses Biden for president 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.

"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 ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg launches new PAC to aid down-ballot candidates HuffPost political reporter on why Bernie fell way behind Biden Economists fear slow pace of testing will prolong recession MORE (D), who has called for "Medicare for all who want it."

In contrast, Sanders and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHillicon Valley: Schiff presses intel chief on staff changes | Warren offers plan to secure elections | Twitter's Jack Dorsey to donate B to coronavirus fight | WhatsApp takes steps to counter virus misinformation WhatsApp limiting message forwarding in effort to stop coronavirus misinformation The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Dybul interview; Boris Johnson update 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."