Jul 29, 2019

How Kamala Harris' "Medicare for All" plan differs from Bernie Sanders

Kamala Harris. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

After changing course a couple of times on Sen. Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for All" plan, Sen. Kamala Harris is out with a version of her own on Monday.

How it works: Harris' proposal differs from Sanders' in a couple of key ways.

  • It would preserve private insurance. Harris would allow for a privately managed version of a single-payer program, similar to Medicare Advantage. Sanders would not.
  • Slower phase-in: Sanders' plan would phase in over 4 years. Harris' would be 10 years.
  • Different taxes: Sanders has acknowledged that his proposal would require raising taxes on some middle-class families, though he has argued that those families wouldn't pay more overall — rather, their premiums and deductibles would become taxes.
    • Harris, though, says her version wouldn't raise taxes on anyone making less than $100,000. She's proposing a new tax on stock trades instead.

My thought bubble: Harris has gone back and forth on the elimination of private insurance, a centerpiece of Sanders' plan. Today's proposal gives her a firm answer.

The bottom line: It won't make Sanders fans happy, but winning over Sanders fans was never Harris' path to the nomination.

Go deeper: How your health care would change under "Medicare for All"

Go deeper

Debate night: Warren and Sanders vs. the moderates

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders joined forces to back Medicare for All, decriminalizing immigration, a trade policy that favors working Americans, and the Green New Deal proposal at Tuesday's Democratic debate, as Warren denounced former Rep. John Delaney and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper of using "Republican talking points."

Why it matters: Tuesday's debate underscored the field's divide, as progressives Warren and Sanders set themselves against the rest of the Democratic candidates, many of whom support more moderate health care policies like a public option or an expansion of the Affordable Care Act. They also disagreed with Warren and Sanders on immigration, trade, and taking on President Donald Trump in the general election.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jul 31, 2019

Debate night: Harris and Biden go head-to-head

Biden and Harris meet on-stage on July 31, 2019. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden greeted Sen. Kamala Harris on the debate stage Wednesday with a request: "Go easy on me, kid."

For the record: 5 senior campaign officials told Axios' Alexi McCammond that Biden was "ready to throw down" on Wednesday, after Harris' took control at the first Democratic debates in Miami. Harris and Biden went head-to-head tonight on these issues:

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 1, 2019

A debate fundraising quick-turn from Bernie Sanders

A quick-turn solicitation from Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) campaign arrived at 10:05 p.m. ET — 38 minutes before Tuesday's Democratic debate ended:"Make a contribution — of any amount — and we’ll send you our new 'I Wrote the Damn Bill' sticker."

Why it matters: The campaign was capitalizing on an instant-classic moment when Rep. Tim Ryan attempted to challenge Sanders over Medicare for All - to which Sanders said he "wrote the damn bill."

Go deeperArrowJul 31, 2019