Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) reversed course on her healthcare position on Tuesday, which comes less than 24 hours after she called for the elimination of the free market from the industry and advocated for a complete government takeover.
“I believe the solution — and I actually feel very strongly about this — is that we need to have Medicare for all,” Harris said on Monday during CNN’s town hall. “That’s just the bottom line.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper, who noted that Harris’ position would eliminate private insurance, asked Harris, “So for people out there who like their insurance, they don’t get to keep it?”
“Let’s eliminate all of that,” Harris said. “Let’s move on.”
As the furor grew, a Harris adviser on Tuesday signaled that the candidate would also be open to the more moderate health reform plans, which would preserve the industry, being floated by other congressional Democrats. It represents a compromise position that risks angering “Medicare-for-all” proponents, who view eliminating private health insurance as key to enacting their comprehensive reform.
“Medicare-for-all is the plan that she believes will solve the problem and get all Americans covered. Period,” Harris national press secretary Ian Sams told CNN. “She has co-sponsored other pieces of legislation that she sees as a path to getting us there, but this is the plan she is running on.”
In a separate report, CNN noted that multiple Democrat Senators came out against Harris’ call to eliminate private health insurance plans.
“It would take a mighty transition to move from where we are to that,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). “What most of us said we would support is a Medicare-type plan — a not-for-profit public plan that is available for everyone.”
“I’m not going to say you have to give it up,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said. “I think the idea is to offer a nonprofit insurance plan as an option.”
Even Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) pushed back on Harris, saying, “Well I’m not there.”
Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro noted that during the Harris’ town hall in Iowa she “embraced every radical position available to her – presumably in an attempt to crowd out candidates to her Left, including Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).”
“With that strategy in mind, she embraced Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s so-called Green New Deal, which would cost an estimated $49 trillion over the next ten years, as well as slashing the military in half, eliminating natural gas and coal within 11 years, and banning gasoline-powered vehicles,” Shapiro continued. “She also embraced nationalized health care insurance to the extent that she gladly stated that she would “eliminate” private insurance – you know, the insurance upon which the vast majority of Americans rely. A Medicare-for-All plan would cost some $32 trillion over ten years – and that’s a low-end estimate, considering that Bernie Sanders’ plan assumes a 40 percent reduction in provider payments, and no private health care spending outside the system. And Harris embraced a full-scale ban on semi-automatic weapons.”
On Tuesday evening, as news broke that Harris had changed her mind, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) went on MSNBC and told Chris Matthews that he backed Sen. Kamala Harris’ call to eliminate private health insurance, saying, “I stand with her on that.”