Kamala Harris Calls for Private Health Insurance To Be Replaced With Medicaid For All

Jesse GrantGetty Images for Children's Defense Fund

Democratic Senator Kamala Harris, who last week announced her intentions to run for the Democrat nomination for President in 2020, has called for all private health insurance to be “eliminated” and replaced with a Medicaid system for all, during a speech in Iowa.

At the CNN Town Hall event, Harris also defended some of the actions she took while Attorney-General in California, according to the Daily Mail.

Speaking to a receptive audience of Iowa Democrats, Harris argued that the American people deserved to be able to access healthcare without all the bureaucracy involved with going through your insurance provider first.

“We need to have Medicare for all,” she asserted. “That’s just the bottom line. The idea is that everyone gets access to medical care, 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.”

Her conclusion was that private insurers should no longer be part of the American healthcare system. “Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on,” Harris declared.

Inevitably, the Republican Party were quick to leap on her comments as further evidence that the Democrats want to move to a system they describe as socialized medicine.

Kamala Harris speaking
Featured image credit: Justin SullivanGetty Images

A spokesman for the Republican Party, Michael Ahrens, tweeted a scathing putdown on Harris’ comments.

Harris is not the first Democrat to advocate Medicaid for all. Popular New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who describes herself as a democratic socialist has backed the idea while Bernie Sanders promoted it during the Democratic primaries in 2016.

The idea is certainly becoming more mainstream as more and more American’s get frustrated with perceived inequalities in their healthcare system.

Harris was also questioned about prosecuting death penalty cases in California while she was Attorney-General there. She claimed that it was her duty to uphold the law even though she is opposed to the death penalty personally.

“It’s a flawed system,” she said of capital punishment in response to one question. “It is applied unequally based on race and based on income.’

She also defended the fact that she failed to take a policy position on fatal shooting legislation in 2015. Her reasoning was that as Attorney-General, it would have been her office’s responsibility to draft this legislation had it been approved. She clearly believes that given the importance of that role, it was imperative for her office to stay out of the heated political debates over the issue.