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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Updated 43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 19,497,292 — Total deaths: 723,854 — Total recoveries — 11,823,105Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 4,994,276 — Total deaths: 162,381 — Total recoveries: 1,643,118 — Total tests: 61,080,587Map.
  3. Politics: Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid.
  4. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective — 1 in 3 Americans would decline COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Science: Indoor air is the next coronavirus frontline.
  6. Schools: How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.

Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid

President Trump speaking during a press conference on Aug. 8. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday signed four executive actions to provide relief from economic damage sustained during the coronavirus pandemic after talks between the White House and Democratic leadership collapsed Friday afternoon.

Why it matters: Because the Constitution gives Congress the power to appropriate federal spending, Trump has limited authority to act unilaterally — and risks a legal challenge if congressional Democrats believe he has overstepped.

8 hours ago - World

What's next for Lebanon after the Beirut explosion

Photo: Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Beirut residents are still clearing rubble from streets that appear war-torn, days after a blast that shocked the country and horrified the world.

Why it matters: The explosion is likely to accelerate a painful cycle Lebanon was already living through — discontent, economic distress, and emigration.