Warren, Sanders spar with centrist who accuses them of 'taking something away from people'

Warren, Sanders spar with centrist who accuses them of 'taking something away from people'
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Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden will help close out Texas Democrats' virtual convention: report Senate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenLongtime Democratic pollster: Warren 'obvious solution' for Biden's VP pick The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US virus deaths exceed 100,000; Pelosi pulls FISA bill Warren's VP bid faces obstacle: Her state's Republican governor MORE (D-Mass.) defended "Medicare for All" at the second Democratic presidential primary debate on Tuesday against more moderate candidates who accused them of stripping away millions of Americans' health care.

Centrists on the Detroit debate stage, including former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyJohn Delaney endorses Biden Nevada caucuses open with a few hiccups Lobbying world MORE (D-Md.), sharply attacked the plans for single-payer health care.

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“Why do we have to be the party of taking something away from people?” Delaney asked.

“That’s what they’re running on. They’re running on telling half the country that your health insurance is illegal.”

Warren and Sanders both pushed back, with the Massachusetts senator accusing Delaney of parroting GOP "talking points." 

“We are the Democrats. We are not about taking health care from anyone. That’s what the Republicans are trying to do, and we should stop using Republican talking points,” she replied.

Asked to reply to Delaney’s assertion that supporting Medicare for All is “political suicide,” Sanders replied flatly: “You’re wrong.”

“Tens of millions lose health insurance every single year when they change jobs or employers change their insurance,” he said.

Under his plan, people would still have “freedom” to choose their doctors and hospitals, he argued.

When Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanCongress must fill the leadership void Pelosi pushes to unite party on coronavirus bill despite grumbling from left Democrats rally behind monthly ,000 relief checks MORE (D-Ohio) said Sanders “didn’t know” if Medicare for all would offer better plans than generous union health care plans, Sanders shot back: “I do know. I wrote the damn bill.”

The testy exchanges represent the divide between Democrats running for president over how best to reform the health care system.

Sanders and Warren support Medicare for All, which would eliminate private health insurance in exchange for a single-payer system run by the government.

Delaney, Ryan, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharLongtime Democratic pollster: Warren 'obvious solution' for Biden's VP pick Warren's VP bid faces obstacle: Her state's Republican governor Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 MORE (D-Minn.) support keeping private insurance while adding a public option run by the government.

“I just have a better way to do this,” Klobuchar said. “We need the public option.”

She shot back at Sanders, who thinks the public option does not go far enough, noting he signed on to a bill that would create one last year.

“Some candidates say it’s not moral to have that public option. Sen Sanders was actually on a public option bill right now,” Klobuchar said.

“Clearly this is the easiest way to move forward quickly.”