The Biden campaign didn’t hold anything back while tearing apart Sen. Kamala Harris’ Medicare for All healthcare plan.
Kamala Harris healthcare plan criticized by Biden
The part of the Harris Medicare for All plan that is coming under fire was how it would be paid for.
According to a release from the Harris campaign as provided to PoliticusUSA, “To pay for this plan, Harris has pointed to a number of good ideas — from an income based premium paid by employers, to higher taxes on the top one percent and taxing capital gains at the same rate as ordinary income, among others. One idea put forward by Senator Sanders, for example, is increasing taxes for families making as little as $29,000 a year. She believes that hits the middle class too hard, so she would not raise taxes on families making under $100,000 to help pay for this plan. To pay for this specific commitment, she would impose a new Wall Street trade tax — taxing stock trades at 0.2%, bond trades at 0.1%, and derivative transactions at 0.002% — and end foreign tax shelters by taxing offshore corporate income at the same rate as domestic corporate income. Together, these proposals would raise well over $2 trillion over ten years, more than enough to make up the difference from raising the middle class income threshold.”
The Biden campaign as provided to PoliticusUSA, unloaded on Harris for both destroying Obamacare and not being straight about how it is paid for:
Senator Kamala Harris just released a health care plan that both backtracks on her long-promised – but then-hedged – support of Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All legislation while at the same time committing to still unraveling the hard-won Affordable Care Act that the Trump Administration is trying to undo right now.
Senator Harris was not only an original co-sponsor of Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All bill – she was the very first Democratic co-sponsor of it and stood with Sanders at the press conference announcing that legislation.
After she launched her campaign for president, Senator Harris confirmed her support for the Sanders bill, but then, after being pressed about the ramifications of denying voters the choice of private health insurance plans, began a long and confusing pattern of equivocating about her stance on health care in America. That pattern has now taken yet another twist.
This new, have-it-every-which-way approach pushes the extremely challenging implementation of the Medicare for All part of this plan ten years into the future, meaning it would not occur on the watch of even a two-term administration. The result? A Bernie Sanders-lite Medicare for All and a refusal to be straight with the American middle class, who would have a large tax increase forced on them with this plan.
To their credit, the Sanders campaign has been honest that the only way to enact Medicare for All without substantially raising taxes on the middle class would require “unicorns” and “magic wands.”
The Sanders Campaign Said Harris Is Backing Down From Medicare For All
To confirm that Kamala Harris is catching it from both the left and center, here is Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager Faiz Shakir:
So continues her gradual backdown from Medicare For All.
This is why you want a candidate with a lifetime of consistency and a track record on the big issues facing us. https://t.co/BdgwX5njHI
— Faiz (@fshakir) July 29, 2019
The Harris plan is vague on how it will be paid for, but the biggest problem both her plan and the Sanders plan faces is that people like Obamacare, and don’t want the health insurance system ripped apart. The most popular healthcare policy plan proposed so far is Joe Biden’s. People like Obamacare and they want the public option.
The Biden statement is a signal that the former vice president isn’t going to be caught off guard at the Detriot debate.
The next two nights of Democrats debates, Tuesday and Wednesday on CNN, will be much more intense than the first time these candidates shared the stage.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association