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 HarrisBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden says family will avoid business conflicts Biden says China must play by 'international norms' 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.

“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 SandersFormer Sanders press secretary: 'Principal concern' of Biden appointments should be policy DeVos knocks free college push as 'socialist takeover of higher education' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Capital One — Giuliani denies discussing preemptive pardon with Trump MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSchwarzenegger says he would 'absolutely' help Biden administration Disney chair says he would consider job in Biden administration if asked Despite veto threat, Congress presses ahead on defense bill MORE (D-Mass.) and those who want an optional government-run plan, like South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegJuan Williams: Clyburn is my choice as politician of the year 'Biff is president': Michael J. Fox says Trump has played on 'every worst instinct in mankind' Buttigieg: Denying Biden intelligence briefings is about protecting Trump's 'ego' MORE and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts 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.”