Joe Biden wants you to vote for him so you can find out what’s in his healthcare plan.
That sounds familiar.
During his first weeks as an official presidential candidate, Biden has talked extensively about healthcare being a human “right” (health insurance, however, is not a right) and said he would give everyone the chance to buy into Medicare, stopping just short of supporting rival candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) “Medicare-for-all” plan. The plan would apparently allow Americans to stop relying on private health insurance, but Biden has so far not provided details on how exactly he would get us there.
While speaking in Iowa City last week, Biden mentioned his Medicare buy-in program, but would not provide details or discuss a specific bill that encompasses some or part of his vision.
“I don’t have time; I don’t want to keep you standing any longer,” the former vice president told his audience, the Washington Examiner reported.
Biden, of course, was specifically saying he didn’t have time at that moment to lay out the plan, but he has thus far not revealed the details of his plan anywhere else.
The former vice president appears to be trying to craft his own version of Sanders’ plan, which the Vermont senator has admitted would raise taxes on Americans. Sanders recently criticized Biden’s “plan” as not going far enough.
“It doesn’t go anywhere near far enough,” Sanders said when asked by reporters to comment on Biden’s plan. “It will be expensive, it will not cover a whole lot of people.”
Sander’s plan, too, would be expensive, but the Vermont senator claims people would save money by no longer having to pay co-pays or deductibles. An estimate from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University found that Sanders’ plan would cost $32.6 trillion over 10 years, or $3.26 trillion a year. For reference, that’s about what the entire federal government received in revenue in 2017.
Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), both also running for president in 2020, support the expensive Medicare-for-all plan.
Biden said last week that his plan would provide more consumer choice (than the massive government overhaul of the healthcare system Biden helped pass as vice president while claiming it would provide consumer choice).
“Your choice,” Biden said. “And if the insurance company isn’t doing the right thing by you, you should have another choice.”
That’s what we were promised in Obamacare, but millions were thrown off their desired plan and forced to “choose” expensive government plans that lacked the same benefits as their previous plans.
Further, Biden’s claim to not have time to offer details sounds an awful lot like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) infamous “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it” line during the debate over Obamacare in 2010. Pelosi said this while discussing some of the promises that would be fulfilled by the bill, and suggested media outlets were misrepresenting the legislation.
Pelosi later defended her remarks to The Washington Post in 2012, saying she was talking about passing the bill to prove press reports wrong about what was and wasn’t in the bill. As we now know, many of the negative press articles about the bill were actually correct.