Oct 27, 2019

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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Kamala Harris: "Of course" it's different to run for president as a black woman

Kamala Harris says running for president as a woman of color in the 2020 election is different than running as a black man or as a white woman and that the question of electability has emerged as "the elephant in the room about my campaign."

Why it matters: In an interview with "Axios on HBO," the California senator, stuck around 5th place in Democratic presidential primary polls, says there’s still time to regain momentum to crack the top three in the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3. She was mostly guarded in her remarks, but spoke more spontaneously on questions about race and her law-and-order background.

Go deeperArrowOct 27, 2019

Preview: "Axios on HBO" interviews Sen. Kamala Harris

On the next episode of "Axios on HBO," Axios White House and politics editor Margaret Talev interviews Sen. Kamala Harris on the campaign trail in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on her "Medicare for All" plan.

Keep ReadingArrowOct 27, 2019

Warren's path to Medicare for All is rocky

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's two-part plan to pass a public option as a transition into Medicare for All — and then full-blown Medicare for All a few years later — has revealed the difficulty of appealing to both the pragmatic and progressive wings of the party.

The big picture: Warren's already being criticized by progressives for not being a Medicare for All purist, and because of the realities of governing, they may have a point: Passing two major health reforms in one term is unheard of.

Go deeperArrowNov 18, 2019