While making a speech to residents of the Bickford Senior Living Center in Muscatine, Iowa, California Sen. Kamala Harris found out that the aging population has strong feelings about health care — one of the hottest topics of the 2020 presidential race.
According to Fox News, Roberta Jewell, a 91-year-old resident of the senior center, told Harris in no uncertain terms that she has no interest in a presidential candidate messing with her current health care situation.
“Leave our health care alone,” Jewell said. “We don’t want you to mess with it.”
Harris quickly explained that she isn’t trying to mess up anyone’s health care, rather, she wants to make sure everyone has the coverage that they want, while promising Jewell and presumably other concerned residents that she won’t mess with their plans.
“I want to make sure that it’s the way you like it,” Harris said to the concerned senior citizen. “I promise you that. I won’t mess with the health care that you have.”
According to the Muscatine Journal, Harris spoke to approximately 20 residents of the senior center and played bingo.
Jewell, a self-described Republican and supporter of President Donald Trump, also asked Harris how her proposed health care plan would be paid for right before instructing the senator not to mess with it. Harris answered the question by explaining that “we’re going to pay for it because right now, let me tell you something, we’re all paying for health care for everyone,” before saying the entire system is “in an emergency room.”
Harris’ approach to the health care issue is somewhere in the middle of the proposals brought forth by her 2020 Democratic candidates.
While her moderate opponents are proposing that Americans be able to keep their health care providers if they so choose and her more progressive opponents push a hardcore version of “Medicare for All”, the California senator envisions a system that allows private health care companies to remain viable, so long as they follow specific government guidelines.
An elderly woman told Kamala Harris exactly how she felt about “Medicare for All” during Harris' visit to Iowa. https://t.co/K3T5vxgvo2
— MRCTV.org (@mrctv) August 14, 2019
Her plan, which was meant to bridge the divide between the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic party, drew criticism from her moderate Democratic 2020 rivals due to its vagueness and her seeming unwillingness to take a solid position on the issue.
Harris has also claimed that she would extend the transition to a single-payer health care system to 10 years, which is a stark contrast to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ proposal that calls for the transition within four years.
According to Real Clear Politics polling averages, Harris sits in fourth place at eight percent, trailing Sanders who currently sits in third place at 16 percent.