Former Vice President Joe Biden downplayed enthusiasm for “Medicare for All” within the Democratic Party on Thursday, saying the majority of the party was not behind the policy idea.
“I don’t think the bulk of the enthusiasm in the Democratic Party is for Medicare for All,” Biden said in Iowa, according to NBC News.
Biden has repeatedly warned against moving in the direction of a Medicare for All system, and has instead pushed for expanding the Affordable Care Act and adding a “public option” that allows people to select a government plan or use private insurance.
South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) has also warned against adopting a Medicare for All system and has called for “Medicare for all who want it” — which allows for a public option while still allowing for private insurance.
Biden accused Buttigieg of stealing his health care policy idea on Monday.
“He stole it,” Biden told reporters. “What would you have done to me? You’d have torn my ears off.”
Buttigieg responded on Tuesday, saying he had been touting his “Medicare for all who want it” plan before Biden launched his presidential bid last April.
“Well, first of all, I’ve been talking about ‘Medicare for all who want it’ since at least February, and also the plans are not exactly the same,” Buttigieg told CNN.