Harris: 'I knew I'd be called a flip-flopper' on 'Medicare for All'

Harris: 'I knew I'd be called a flip-flopper' on 'Medicare for All'
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Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisPolitics must accept the reality of multiracial America and disavow racial backlash Symone Sanders to leave the White House at the end of the year Bidens to attend Kennedy Center Honors following Trumps' absence MORE (D-Calif.) says she knew she would be “called a flip-flopper” when she backed away from her initial support for "Medicare for All" in favor of developing her own health care plan.

Harris has come under criticism in the Democratic presidential race for shifting her position on Medicare for All, originally saying in January, “Let’s eliminate all that,” in reference to private insurance. In July, she released her own plan that maintained some role for private insurance and would allow privately administered Medicare plans under strict rules.

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“I said to my team, 'I know we're gonna take a political hit for it,’” Harris said in an interview with "Axios on HBO" that aired Sunday. “I knew that. I knew we were. I knew I'd be called a flip-flopper for that.”

Harris said her health proposal was in response to voters who told her they did not want to lose the choice of having a private plan.

"I heard from people, 'Kamala, don't take away my choice if I want a private plan. Please don't take away my choice.' And I said, you know what? That is fair,” Harris added.

She said her ability to evolve demonstrated her practical side and willingness to govern. 

“Here's the thing: I plan to govern,” Harris said. “Just because it might get you political points, that's not what people want. They want a leader who actually sees them as responsive to their needs and is honest and willing to have the courage to maybe take a political hit.”

Medicare for All has been a top point of contention in the Democratic primary. Harris has positioned herself in between staunch Medicare for All supporters like Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGOP ramps up attacks on SALT deduction provision Symone Sanders to leave the White House at the end of the year Briahna Joy Gray says Chris Cuomo will return to CNN following scandal MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren calls on big banks to follow Capital One in ditching overdraft fees Crypto firm top executives to testify before Congress Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker won't seek reelection MORE (D-Mass.) and those who want an optional government-run plan, like South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden to announce increased measures for omicron Pressed on 2024, Buttigieg says 'we are squarely focused on the job at hand' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks up bright side beneath omicron's cloud MORE and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill MORE.

“I'm never gonna apologize for listening to people and then deciding, hey, they've got a point,” Harris said. “This can be better.”