Where all the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates stand on health care



When Democrats campaigned
on health care in the 201
midterms, it helped win
hem back the House. And n
w that more than 20 of th
m are running for preside
t, they're starting to st
ke out their positions on
how to overhaul the syste
. CBS News exit polling fou
d health care was the num
er one issue among voters
casting their ballots in
he midterms. Since then,
ne of the most talked abo
t Democratic proposals wo
ld establish a new single
payer government-run insu
ance program as outlined
n Sen. Bernie Sanders' "M
dicare for All" Act. Sanders' bill would make
rivate insurance suppleme
tal for those who choose
o get it, while aiming to
provide a basic level of
are for all Americans pai
for by taxes. A similar
ill by the same name has
lso been introduced in th
House. However, other candidates
have used the phrase Medi
are for All while embraci
g something different tha
what Sanders is proposin
. And other pieces of leg
slation touted by some ca
didates would stop short
f creating a national sin
le-payer health care syst
m. The Choose Medicare Act,
or example, establishes p
blic health plans in the
ndividual, small group an
large group markets. The
Medicare at 50 Act would
llow people to buy into t
e program at age 50 inste
d of 65, the current age
f enrollment. The State P
blic Option Act would all
w residents not already e
igible be able to buy int
a state Medicaid plan. A
d Medicare for America wo
ld provide a public progr
m for the uninsured, peop
e who purchased insurance
on the open market, peopl
on Medicare, Medicaid an
CHIP, all while maintain
ng employer-sponsored ins
rance. Here's what the candidate
have been saying about h
alth care. Colorado Sen. Michael Ben
et In April, Bennet introduc
d his Medicare-X plan, wh
ch would create a public
ealth care plan in areas
here options are limited
efore being expanded."I t
ink the American people h
ve waited long enough for
universal health care," s
id Bennet in May after an
ouncing his bid for presi
ent. Bennet argues his pr
posal "creates a true pub
ic option" administered b
Medicare."Medicare-X sta
ts in rural areas because
the market there is faili
g too many Americans, and
by using the existing Med
care framework, it provid
s a new, affordable optio
without adding bureaucra
y," Bennet said in a stat
ment. Former Vice President Joe
Biden Since announcing his run
or president, Biden has s
ated at campaign events t
at he believes health car
should be a right, not a
privilege.Biden says he p
ans to build on the Affor
able Care Act to "ensure
very American has access
o quality coverage."At a
ay campaign fundraiser, B
den said one of the thing
he's most proud of was t
e passage of the Affordab
e Care Act.When asked by
BS News in May about why
e does not support the Me
icare for All bill, Biden
replied he believes every
ne should have the chance
to buy their own insuranc
. He also argues corporat
ons should not be let off
the hook for providing in
urance to employees. New Jersey Sen. Cory Book
r On April 1st, Booker twee
ed "I support Medicare fo
all."He is a co-sponsor
f Sanders' Medicare for A
l Act, the Medicare at 50
Act, the State Public Opt
on Act and the Choose Med
care Act.Booker has argue
on the trail that the be
t way to improve coverage
would be to have Medicare
for All but suggests ther
needs to be a practical
athway to get there. Montana Gov. Steve Bulloc Bullock is vowing to make
Medicaid expansion a "cor
erstone" of his campaign.
n the same day he launche
his bid, Bullock tweeted
"If we can get real prog
essive achievements like
edicaid expansion done in
Montana, we can do it any
here."In May, Bullock sig
ed a package bills in Mon
ana including reauthorizi
g Medicaid expansion and
program to lower insuran
e premiums. South Bend Mayor Pete But
igieg "You might call it Medica
e for all who want it," s
id Buttigieg in April abo
t his health care plan. H
s idea is to create a ver
ion of Medicare that anyb
dy could buy into.Buttigi
g has argued the public o
tion would be preferred a
d could "very naturally b
comes a kind of glide-pat
toward a Medicare for Al
environment."Buttigieg h
s said he does not see wh
supporting Medicare for
ll would mean having to e
iminate private insurance Former HUD Secretary Juli
n Castro Castro said in April that
he believes people who wa
t to have their own priva
e health insurance plan s
ould be able to buy it. "
believe this country is
eady for [Medicare for Al
]," Castro said on Face t
e Nation in January, wher
he also vowed he would p
t forward a plan.Castro a
gues the move to Medicare
for All won't be easy to
ccomplish but no person s
ould be without health ca
e when they need it. New York City Mayor Bill
e Blasio De Blasio said in his cam
aign launch video he beli
ves health care is a huma
right that has to be ava
lable for all and afforda
le.In January, de Blasio
nnounced a plan to provid
health care to New York
ity residents called NYC
are, which will be priced
on a sliding scale. Former Maryland Rep. John
Delaney Delaney proposed creating
a new public health care
lan for all Americans und
r age 65 that would also
ncompass Medicaid.Medicar
would stay in its curren
form, and people would a
so be allowed to buy priv
te insurance.Delaney oppo
es the Medicare for All a
proach, saying it may sou
d good but is "bad policy
" Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard "I support Medicare for A
l," said Gabbard when ask
d about the issue in Marc
. "It is unacceptable in
ur country we pay far mor
for health care than man
countries and yet have w
rse outcomes." Gabbard is
one of 108 co-sponsors of
the Medicare for All Act
ntroduced in the House. New York Sen. Kirsten Gil
ibrand Gillibrand is a co-sponso
of the Medicare for All
ct but suggests getting t
universal coverage could
take time."I believe, as
think most Americans do,
that health care should b
a right, not a privilege
and that means you have
o fight for universal cov
rage that's affordable an
quality for everybody,"
aid Gillibrand during a t
wn hall in March. Gillibr
nd has suggested that hav
ng a not-for-profit publi
option competing for bus
nesses would eventually l
ad to single-payer covera
e because most Americans
ould choose the public op
ion.She is also a co-spon
or of the Choose Medicare
Act. California Sen. Kamala Ha
ris "Nobody should have to wo
ry about paying a medical
bill to stay alive. Healt
care should be a right.
t's why I support Medicar
-for-All," Harris tweeted
in May. She is a co-spons
r of Sanders' Medicare fo
All Act.In January, Harr
s said she wanted to elim
nate private insurance. S
e later clarified that sh
wanted to get rid of the
"waste" and "bureaucracy"
in private insurance. In
ay, Harris stated she wou
d be against any policy t
at would deny a person he
lth care because of their
citizenship status.Harris
has also co-sponsored the
Choose Medicare Act, the
edicare at 50 Act and the
State Public Option Act. Former Colorado Gov. John
Hickenlooper Hickenlooper is advocatin
for a plan where people
an keep their private ins
rance if they want, but t
ey can also opt for a pub
ic option similar to Medi
are.Hickenlooper wrote a
all Street Journal op-ed
n May in which he argued
gainst shifting to a gove
nment-run health care sys
em, claiming a majority o
people are "satisfied wi
h the coverage they have. Washington Gov. Jay Insle Inslee announced on CBS T
is Morning that he was in
favor of "Medicare for th
se who want it."Inslee ha
touted health care optio
s being developed in his
tate.A new Washington law
signed by Inslee directs
tate officials to work on
expanding subsidies for p
ivate insurance and requi
es private insurers to st
rt offering standardized
lans on the state exchang
. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuc
ar Klobuchar says she suppor
s universal health care c
verage but stopped short
f backing Medicare for Al
.During a town hall in Ma
, Klobuchar said building
on the Affordable Care Ac
could lead to universal
overage.Klobuchar has als
argued for expanding Med
care and Medicaid. In a D
cember interview with Fac
the Nation, she suggeste
lowering the eligibility
age for Medicare to 55.Sh
co-sponsored Medicare at
50 and the State Public O
tion Act. Massachusetts Rep. Seth M
ulton In May, Moulton told CBSN
he was concerned with pla
s that would force everyb
dy onto Medicare when som
people want to keep thei
private insurance.The mi
itary veteran is advocati
g for new competition to
ring down costs.He is sug
esting a public option li
e Medicare along with the
private options people al
eady have. Former Texas Rep. Beto O'
ourke "For health care, I like
edicare for America, wher
you can buy into Medicar
," O'Rourke said during a
Iowa town hall in April.
'Rourke has said on sever
l occasions that a person
who likes their coverage
hould be able to keep it.
While he's not backing th
Medicare for All bills,
e is campaigning on a pro
ise to implement high-qua
ity, universal coverage. Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan "I personally don't belie
e we need to take people
ff their private health i
surance if they enjoy it,
said Ryan during an inte
view in April.Ryan is a c
-sponsor of the House Med
care for All Act, which a
written, would not allow
private insurance to comp
te with the public option
He is also a co-sponsor o
the Medicare for America
Act. Ryan has argued the next
tep is to bring the Medic
re eligibility age down t
50 or 55.He has also sai
companies that have 50 e
ployees or less should be
able to buy into the Medi
are system. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sande
s Sanders reintroduced his
edicare for All Act in Ap
il.His single-payer propo
al would establish a new
overnment-run national he
lth insurance program.Pri
ate insurance companies w
uld only provide suppleme
tal coverage for cosmetic
procedures. California Rep. Eric Swal
ell Swalwell is a co-sponsor
f the House Medicare for
ll Act, but he has said s
veral times that he allow
people to keep their priv
te plans. "I think it's v
ry much in our DNA to hav
choice and so I will sup
ort that," Swalwell said
n an April interview with
CNN.He claims the Medicar
for All Act is the best
hoice currently out there
but the details would ne
d to be worked out as par
of the larger negotiatio
process.When pressed, he
did not say he would sign
the Medicare for All bill
as it currently stands. Massachusetts Sen. Elizab
th Warren Warren is a co-sponsor of
the Medicare for All Act,
but when asked about heal
h care at a town hall in
arch, she stressed there
ere multiple ways to lowe
costs and expand coverag
.When pressed on whether
he would support eliminat
ng private insurance, War
en said they would have t
get everyone together to
decide.She has also point
d out that she is a co-sp
nsor of other bills inclu
ing the State Public Opti
n Act. Author and activist Maria
ne Williamson Williamson says she suppo
ts Medicare for All as a
ublic option, but that pe
ple should be able to kee
private insurance.Willia
son also argues that the
urrent system is more of
"sickness care" system t
an a health care system.A
a town hall in April, th
presidential hopeful sai
any approach needs to be
part of a larger conversa
ion about how to create "
reater health from the be
inning." Businessman Andrew Yang Yang argues the Affordabl
Care Act is a good first
step.Yang's website sugge
ts the path to universal
overage could be though e
panding Medicare to every
ne or by creating a new h
alth care system.He has a
so advocated for more "ho
istic approaches" to medi
al care.

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