Oct 27, 2019 - Health

Kamala Harris defends her evolution on Medicare for All

In an interview with Margaret Talev for "Axios on HBO," 2020 contender Sen. Kamala Harris justified her position on Medicare for All, claiming that her plan allowing private insurance to still compete makes the measure better.

The big picture: Harris had originally been a backer of Sen. Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All plan, which would abolish private insurance. Harris later changed to allow a government-run system, but with private insurance as a competitor.

  • The divide between Medicare for All versus providing a public option has been a key issue for Democrats, drawing the line between progressives and moderates in the presidential arena.

What they're saying: Harris acknowledged that changing positions has been a hit for her campaign, but said it was a matter of providing better policy.

"I have to tell you honestly. I knew it. I said to my team, 'We need to do a better plan. This is not good enough.' And I said to my team, 'I know we're gonna take a political hit for it.' I knew that. I knew we were. I knew I'd be called a flip-flopper for that."
— Harris to "Axios on HBO"

Go deeper: Medicare for All: Where the Democratic candidates stand

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