During an interview on CNN Thursday morning, presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was forced into admitting her health care proposal would strip Americans of their employer-provided health insurance plans.
“You said your opponents were lying, or weren’t being honest about [your new health care proposal],” CNN “New Day” co-host John Berman said to Harris. “The issue of your private insurance — one of the things that has been charged is that you will not be able to keep your private insurance. If we get insurance though CNN, if GM workers get insurance through GM — under your plan, they will not be able to keep that private insurance. Is that true?”
“My plan will separate your health care from your employer, meaning your employer will no longer dictate the kind of health care you receive,” Harris answered.
“Under my plan of Medicare-for-All,” she continued, “private insurance companies will be able to provide coverage if they play by our rules. Therefore, what that means is that you don’t have to be wed to your employer to keep the insurance that you like and that you need.”
Harris again emphasized, “We have to decouple health care from employers … there will be private insurance, there will be private plans, but it will not be coupled with your employer.”
That seems an awful lot like kissing goodbye, under Harris’ health care policy, to employer-provided health insurance.
Berman pressed Harris about her obfuscation, iterating that she’d be taking away Americans’ employer-provided health insurance.
“Yes, they may be able to keep a private insurance, but it’s not their private insurance,” the CNN host told the senator. “Correct?”
“They get to make the choice,” Harris quietly uttered.
“No,” Berman shot back, “you’re basically allowing for a Medicare Advantage plan, where, insurers can enter that plan and they can choose it if they want to. But if you’re getting insurance from GM, from your employer, you will not get to keep that … It’s a private plan, not necessarily your private plan; there’s no guarantee that your private plan will be part of that [option].”
Harris weakly conceded in a carefully worded response, “Well, if you decide that your private plan is your employers’ private plan, as opposed to your private plan that you want to choose for yourself, then perhaps you’re right.”
The Sacrament Bee confirmed on Wednesday in a “fact check” that Harris’ plan would strip Americans of their employer-provided health care plans:
“Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet claimed at the Democratic debate Wednesday night that Sen. Kamala Harris intends to ban employer-based health insurance.
“Harris argued that her healthcare proposal, unveiled earlier this week, wouldn’t make anything ‘illegal.’ That is true, but it would ultimately eliminate the way most Americans currently get their health insurance: through their employer.”
The Bee noted that “more than three-quarters of the public have a favorable view of employer-sponsored health coverage,” according to July polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation.