Sep 18, 2019

Pelosi backs Affordable Care Act over Medicare for All

Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Jim Cramer on CNBC's "Mad Money" on Tuesday that Democrats should focus on making improvements to the Affordable Care Act instead of pushing to introduce Medicare for All.

Why it matters: The Medicare for All bill from Sen. Bernie Sanders has 16 co-sponsors, including several other 2020 Democrats. Other Democratic candidates support versions of the bill. Pelosi's health care comments seem more in line with 2020 front-runner Joe Biden, whose policies involve improving the Affordable Care Act.

"I believe the path to health care for all is a path following the lead of the Affordable Care Act. ... Let’s use our energy to have health care for all Americans, and that involves over 150 million families that have it through the private sector."
— Nancy Pelosi to CNBC

The big picture: Pelosi has been working for months on improvements to the ACA, including a drug pricing plan that's due to be announced soon.

  • The plan would give Medicare the authority to negotiate the prices of 250 drugs, limit how high these prices could be based on how much other countries pay, and establish harsh penalties for drugmakers who refuse to comply.

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Medicare for All: Where the Democratic candidates stand

Beto O'Rourke, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Photo: Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidates are laying out plans for expanding health-care coverage, with Medicare for All overpowering the conversation.

The big picture: Most 2020 Democrats say they buy into the concept of universal health care, except they vary on how to achieve it — and on which plan would be more appealing to achieve nationwide support.

Go deeper.ArrowUpdated Oct 2, 2019

Trump's smoke-and-mirrors 2020 health care strategy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump may be telling voters everything that they want to hear when it comes to health care, but much of it isn't true.

Why it matters: Trump is claiming victories he hasn't achieved and making promises he's not prepared to live up to, all on an immensely personal subject that voters consistently rank as one of the most important issues of 2020.

Four health care questions for a better Democratic debate

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

If tonight’s Democratic debate is anything like the earlier ones, it will feature an extended back-and-forth about whether to eliminate private health insurance, and then move on from health care. But there’s a whole lot more that’s also worth asking about.

The big picture: We basically know what the candidates will say about the question of private insurance, because they’ve said it all before. So here are four other questions that might also help illuminate the choice voters face on such a deeply personal, wildly complex topic.

Go deeperArrowOct 15, 2019