Published: Sat, August 03, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Biden Attacks Kamala’s ‘Have-It-Every-Which-Way’ Health Care Approach

Biden Attacks Kamala’s ‘Have-It-Every-Which-Way’ Health Care Approach

Harris' proposal comes as former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to defend his proposal to expand the Affordable Care Act when he takes the debate stage against her and eight other presidential hopefuls on Wednesday in Detroit.

Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). Her health plan, a modified version of Sen. Over a period of 10 years, Harris' plan would transform health care to a federal system, allowing for expanded coverage and limiting the role of private insurers. Her plan is less drastic (and with a less drastic timeline) than Sanders' plan, but could mean much bigger changes than, for example, a public option plan like those that Biden, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke favor.

In her post, Harris pointed to the Medicare for All plan proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has long called for.

In response to Harris's proposals, Sanders's campaign manager Faiz Shakir argued Harris's plan is "folding to the interests of the health insurance industry", which he called "bad policy" and "bad politics". "They will get insurance either through the new public Medicare plan or a Medicare plan offered by a private insurer within that system", the plan says.

It allows private insurers to continue to play a major role in the system, as long as they meet requirements on costs and benefits. "If not, they have to get out".

After 10 years, Harris says every American would be enrolled in a Medicare plan.

Ms Harris is a supporter of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' Medicare For All legislation, but the plan that she released on Monday stops short of the full-scale overhaul that Mr Sanders has envisioned. She said health care should be a right not a privilege.

To pay for the difference, Harris wants to tax stock trades at 0.2 percent of the value of the transaction, 0.1 percent for bonds, and 0.002 percent for derivatives.

Biden said the notion of imposing Medicare for all without raising taxes on the middle class is a "fantasy world".

Harris' rollout is a 3-part plan covering all medical essentials exempting households below $100,000, a higher income threshold for middle-class families living in high-cost areas, and expanding high-quality coverage to rural areas. Medicare for All will cover all medically necessary services, including emergency room visits, doctor visits, vision, dental, hearing aids, mental health and substance use disorder treatment, and comprehensive reproductive health care services.

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Topher Spiro, vice president for health policy at the left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress, lauded Harris for trying to assuage "concerns that people have about disruption and about an abrupt transition" away from a largely employer-based health insurance system.

Sanders has said that one option for paying for part of that hefty price would be a 4 percent tax increase on families making more than $29,000 each year.

During the first set of presidential debates she appeared to suggest that she supported abolishing private insurance, later clarifying that she does not.

Her plan is influenced by a Citizen report that projects the USA spends $3.3 trillion annually on healthcare which is 17 percent of its GDP.

Zoom out: The AP reported Sunday that about 90% of Americans are covered by the US health system, indicating that high costs may be a bigger problem than coverage.

But Mr Sanders' campaign has already been critical of her new plan.

On top of that, individuals are going to want to know whether their total health care costs - counting any premiums and taxes - under this plan would be greater or less than their current health care costs. She also plans to end foreign tax shelters by taxing offshore corporate income at the same rate as domestic corporate income.

"The Harris plan is a carefully designed transition to Medicare for All", said health care expert Topher Spiro.

Sanders and Harris will debate on different nights during this week's second primary debates, so they won't clash directly on health care.

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