Biden campaign slams Harris on ‘have-it-every-which-way’ health plan

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Joe Biden’s presidential campaign on Monday criticized Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) for releasing a health plan that seemingly backtracks on her pledges to support the “Medicare for All” legislation from another White House hopeful, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). 

In a statement, the former vice president’s deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, noted Harris was the first Democrat to co-sponsor Sanders’s plan, and even stood with him at the press conference announcing the bill.

{mosads}“This new, have-it-every-which-way approach pushes the extremely challenging implementation of the Medicare for All part of this plan ten years into the future, meaning it would not occur on the watch of even a two-term administration,” Bedingfield said. 

Bedingfield also hit Harris for her “refusal to be straight with the American middle class, who would have a large tax increase forced on them with this plan.”

Harris’s plan, which was unveiled Monday morning, calls for transitioning to a Medicare for All system over a 10-year period. During that time, infants and the uninsured would automatically be placed into the system while other people would have the option to buy in to the government-backed health care plan.

The transition period in Harris’s plan is longer than the four-year plan laid out by Sanders.

Harris’s plan seeks to find the path between the total elimination of private insurance under the Sanders version of Medicare for All, and Biden’s public option plan, which would strengthen the Affordable Care Act and keep employer-sponsored insurance in place. 

Harris has gone back and forth on whether she would eliminate private insurance. Her new plan would seek to expand coverage while preserving a role for private insurance companies. 

Her new plan also promises not to raise middle-class taxes, another difference from Sanders’s proposal. Harris’s proposal would not increase taxes on families making less than $100,000.

That idea has come under fire from the Sanders camp, which has insisted Medicare for All needs to be paid for. Jeff Weaver, a senior campaign adviser, said Harris’s plan relies on “unicorns” and “magic wands.” 

Tags Bernie Sanders Joe Biden Medicare for all single payer
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