Harris clarifies private insurance stance: ‘No, no’ I don’t think it should be eliminated

Presidential candidate said Friday she doesn’t support eliminating private insurance, appearing to backtrack from the position she took in the Democratic debate. 

Asked in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday if she believed private insurance should be eliminated in the U.S., she said: “No, no. I do not.”

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Harris raised her hand Thursday night when the panel was asked by moderator Lester Holt who supported eliminating private insurance in favor of a government-run health care plan.

 

Harris and Sen. (I-Vt.) were the only candidates on the stage to raise their hands, but Harris said Friday she misunderstood the question.

“The question was would you give up your private insurance for that option and I said yes,” Harris said Friday. 

“You heard it differently than others then,” a “Morning Joe” panelist replied. 

“Probably, because that’s what I heard,” she said.

Harris has waffled on the issue of private insurance for months.

She’s a co-sponsor of Sanders’s “Medicare for All” bill, which would make it illegal for private companies to offer plans that cover the same benefits as the government’s.

Sanders’s plan would cover every medically necessary service, including dental, vision and long-term care for people with disabilities. That would leave little room for private insurers to cover anything except cosmetic surgery, Sanders said on MSNBC in April.

Harris has seized on this technicality in the past to argue that Medicare for All wouldn’t eliminate private insurance and that “supplemental coverage” would still exist.

“I am supportive of Medicare for all, and under Medicare for all policy, private insurance would certainly exist for supplemental coverage,” she said on CBS Friday.

Excluding Harris, Sen. (D-Mass.) and New York City Mayor , along with Sanders, were the only candidates to say during the Democratic primary debates that they support eliminating private insurance in favor of a government run plan.

This story was last updated at 6:01 p.m.

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Written by Alan Smith

Alan Smith

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