A top campaign official for former vice president Joe Biden criticized 2020 Democratic hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris’ healthcare plan on Monday, claiming the candidate is backtracking on her promise to support Sen. Bernie Sanders’ version of Medicare for All.
According to The Hill, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, slammed Harris for her “refusal to be straight with the American middle class, who would have a large tax increase forced on them with this plan,” after the White House hopeful launched her healthcare plan proposal on Monday morning.
Bedingfield pointed out that Harris not only co-sponsored Sanders’ healthcare bill, but also stood next to him at a press conference when it was announced. She also criticized the timeline for implementing the Medicare for All part of Harris’ new plan.
“This new, have-it-every-which-way approach pushes the extremely challenging implementation of the Medicare for All part of this plan ten years into the future, meaning it would not occur on the watch of even a two-term administration,” she said.
Bedingfield’s remark was in reference to the 10-year period required to transition to the Medicare for All plan, according to a piece Harris wrote for Medium that presented a roadmap for implementation of her new plan proposal.
That timeline is in stark contrast to Sanders’ healthcare plan, which would be a transition period of four years.
Biden calls out Kamala for flip-flopping on healthcare. https://t.co/rxkmwch26x
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 29, 2019
Harris, who co-sponsored Sanders’ healthcare bill, had varying opinions on whether or not to let private healthcare insurers stay in the game. But in her announcement, she presented the idea of allowing private healthcare companies to be a part of the plan under strict conditions, while making sure they’re aware of the fact that they “don’t run the show.”
“In setting up this plan, we will allow private insurers to offer Medicare plans as a part of this system that adhere to strict Medicare requirements on costs and benefits,” Harris wrote.
Harris’ plan also reportedly wouldn’t tax American families who make less than $100,000 per year, which was heavily criticized by the Sanders camp and others who questioned how her plan would be paid for.
Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser on the Sanders campaign, said that paying for Harris’ healthcare plan relies on “unicorns” and “magic wands.”
Criticism of Harris’ healthcare plan announcement comes just two days before she’s set to face off with Biden on the 2020 debate stage. Biden recently told supporters at a fundraiser that he’s done being “polite” and signaled that he’s ready for a fight, according to NPR.