Biden, Harris tangle over heath care in Democratic debate

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Poll: Biden holds five-point lead over Warren among New York Democrats MORE and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCalifornia poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Kamala Harris calls for new investigation into Kavanaugh allegations Poll: Biden holds five-point lead over Warren among New York Democrats MORE (D-Calif.) clashed on health care at the start of the debate Wednesday. 

Biden attacked Harris for her "Medicare for All" plan, warning of tax increases and the elimination of employer-based private insurance, continuing a tussle between two front-runners that began in the first debate. 

The two candidates at center stage looked each other in the eyes as they faced off. 

Biden said Harris’s plan “will cost $3 trillion [and] you will lose your employer based insurance.”

“You can’t beat President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE with double talk on this plan,” Biden added and pointed to what has been widely seen as Harris’s veering back and forth on whether to eliminate private insurance. 

Harris responded that Biden’s comments were “simply inaccurate” and that Biden’s plan would leave out around 10 million Americans. 

“The cost of doing nothing is far too expensive,” Harris said. “We must act.”

The central debate is between Harris’s plan of Medicare for All versus Biden’s more moderate plan to give people the option of a government-run plan but also allow private insurance to remain. 

“Your plan does not cover everyone in America,” Harris said to Biden. She added that the secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration, Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusJerry Moran: 'I wouldn't be surprised' if Pompeo ran for Senate in Kansas Mark Halperin inks book deal 2020 Democrats fight to claim Obama's mantle on health care MORE, endorsed her plan.  

 

 

The face-off between the two front-runners has been the central dividing line in the Democratic primary. 

Biden is clashing with a range of progressive challengers, but Harris most of all. Their clash began in the first debate with a fight over busing to desegregate schools.  

Harris released a Medicare for All plan that is slightly more moderate than Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Kamala Harris calls for new investigation into Kavanaugh allegations MORE's (I-Vt.) plan.

Harris's plan includes a 10 year implementation timeline and includes a promise not to raise taxes on anyone making under $100,000.