While it appears Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris has been successful in wooing the media, her efforts to woo the public don’t appear to be faring quite as well.
Flash back to Monday, when Harris made a campaign stop at the Bickford Senior Living Center in Muscatine, Iowa. But instead of being welcomed with open arms by the facility’s residents, she wound up being excoriated over her unrealistic “health care for everyone” healthcare proposal.
Here’s a transcript of the candidate’s conversation with one of the facility’s patients:
- Patient: “Can I ask you a question — I understand that you are advocating health care for everyone?”
- Harris: “Yes, ma’am.”
- Patient: “Who’s going to pay for it?”
- Harris: “Well, we’re going to pay for it. Because right now, let me tell you something, we’re all paying for health care for everyone …”
- Patient: “No, we’re not. Leave our health care system alone. We don’t want you to mess with it.”
- Harris: “OK, I don’t intend to mess with it. … I want to make sure your health care is the way you like it so, I’ll promise you that. I won’t mess with the health care that you have.”
While the 2020 contender has repeatedly swayed back and forth, rhetorically speaking, on whether or not she intends to eliminate private healthcare insurance, the evidence makes it clear that were her plan to be enacted, private health insurance as it currently exists would indeed be eliminated.
When asked during a CNN-hosted town hall in January whether she supports Sen. Bernie Sanders’ radical “Medicare-for-All” bill that would totally eliminate private insurance, she said yes.
“Well, listen, the idea is that everyone gets access to medical care,” she said. “And you don’t have to go through the process of going through an insurance company, having them give you approval, going through the paperwork, all of the delay that may require.”
“Who among us has not had that situation? Where you got to wait for approval, and the doctor says, ‘Well I don’t know if your insurance company is going to cover this.’ Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on.”
Republican Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney was one of many to call out Harris for her dismissive and untruthful response to the elderly woman:
Amazing to watch how casually @KamalaHarris lies to this Iowa Senior about health care.
Harris wants us to believe she can impose govt takeover of all health care while allowing current Medicare recipients to keep their coverage.
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) August 13, 2019
During the first rounds of the Democrat presidential primary debates in late June, she doubled down by raising her hand when she and the other 2020 candidates were asked, “Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan?”
But only a day after the debate, she backtracked, saying in an interview on MSNBC, “I am a proponent of Medicare for All. Private insurance will exist for supplemental coverage.”
However, supplemental insurance isn’t the same thing as primary care insurance, meaning that the regular forms of private healthcare insurance that currently exist — many of them via employers who dole them out to long-term employees — won’t exist under her plan.
What remains unclear is whether the Bickford Senior Living Center resident seen in the video up top has private healthcare through a former employer or public healthcare through Medicare.
Regarding Medicare, it’s been argued by those in the healthcare industry that Harris’s radical proposal would, at the very least, greatly diminish the quality of care currently provided by the program.
“Drug companies, insurers, doctors, and hospitals have united in recent months to fight national government healthcare,” the Washington Examiner reported earlier this year.
“One healthcare industry group, called the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, has launched a five-figure digital ad campaign arguing that ‘Medicare for all’ would cause massive disruption, higher taxes, lower quality care, and less choice for patients.”
It may also lead to the sort of lengthy waiting lines and perhaps even rationing seen in countries that boast socialized healthcare systems:
“If all privately insured individuals were to have Medicare instead, and if it were to pay the same rates it does now, then doctors and hospitals would see big losses caring for patients who moved from private coverage to the government plan,” the Examiner’s report continued.
“Healthcare providers have said that if taxes don’t go up to pay for the difference, then doctors and hospitals will face pay cuts and layoffs, leading to facility closures and long lines for care.”
“Whether it’s called Medicare for all, single payer, or a public option, one-size-fits-all healthcare will mean all Americans have less choice and control over the doctors, treatments, and coverage,” Lauren Crawford Shaver, the group’s executive director, said at the time.
As for Harris, she hasn’t tweeted about her “Medicare-for-All” proposal since Aug. 8, exactly four days before she was told to “[l]eave our health care system alone.”
Today, I’m announcing my Medicare for All plan. We’ve reached a crisis point for health care in America and it’s time we finally fix this broken system for good.https://t.co/Z1R24lZg6S
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 29, 2019
Imagine changing jobs and not having to worry about your health care coverage. Imagine going to the pharmacy and not having to worry about an outrageous price increase on the prescription drug you need.
This is possible with my Medicare for All plan.https://t.co/Iak0dOdKDY
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 29, 2019
You know who says Medicare for All is a “good idea”? Barack Obama.pic.twitter.com/sy1CLGJ6aL
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 1, 2019
My 3AM Agenda will address the issues that keep people up in the middle of the night. It includes:
✏A $500 a month tax credit for the middle class
✏Raising teacher pay
✏Medicare for All
✏Tackling gun violence
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 8, 2019