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 Devi HarrisThis week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime Juan Williams: Black votes matter Clyburn: Biden 'suffered' from not doing 'enough' in early debates 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 SandersAdvisor: Sanders could beat Trump in Texas Bloomberg rips Sanders over Castro comments Liberal author Matt Stoller: Iowa caucus screw-up was 'Boeing 737 Max of the Democratic Party' MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJack Black endorses Elizabeth Warren Democrats view Sanders as having best shot to defeat Trump: poll Poll: Biden, Sanders tied in Texas, followed by Warren MORE (D-Mass.) and those who want an optional government-run plan, like South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegLiberal author Matt Stoller: Iowa caucus screw-up was 'Boeing 737 Max of the Democratic Party' Biden faces do-or-die primary in South Carolina Democrats view Sanders as having best shot to defeat Trump: poll MORE and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden faces do-or-die primary in South Carolina Democrats view Sanders as having best shot to defeat Trump: poll Karl Rove: 'Long way to go' for Sanders to capture nomination: 'The field is splintered' 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.”