Yesterday, the former vice president debuted a new health care plan, which would expand subsidies in the program while creating a new government-run health insurance plan-a "public option"-that would be available inside the exchanges". We should be building from what we have.
"I give people the option", Biden said.
The former vice president has spent the past several weeks highlighting his support for the health care law often called "Obamacare".
"At the end of the day", Sanders tweeted, "you've either got to be on the side of the people or the side of the health insurance companies".
According to campaign officials, if elected, Biden would seek to implement the proposal through a combination of executive orders and working with Congress. Biden, who has been critical of some rivals for wanting to pass legislation through executive orders, would reverse Trump's health care-related executive orders and work across the aisle in Congress to build on the ACA.
"I understand the appeal of 'Medicare-for-all, ' but folks supporting it should be clear that it means getting rid of ObamaCare".
"I've been in a lot of locker rooms my whole life", Biden added.
A key part of the plan is a public option for government-run coverage, which would be available to roughly 5 million Americans in states that have not expanded Medicare. Biden made headlines in June when he flipped his position on Hyde in a matter of days, claiming his health care policy was the catalyst for changing his position. I traveled all over the country to fight the repeal of Obamacare.
The end goal here for progressives is to eliminate private insurance altogether, an objective which has been articulated by Sanders, Warren, and Harris alike, among others. Bernie Sanders of neighboring Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of neighboring MA each at 19 percent, just a few points back.
Biden is apparently betting that by campaigning against Medicare for All, and the socialist tendencies it represents within the Democratic party, he can win over moderate voters. "We must pass Medicare for All".
"Bernie's been very honest about it", Biden said. "Under Biden's plan, this broken and fractured system would be maintained". "If in fact you have private insurance, you can keep it".
It is also a defense of Medicare as it exists today, one that mirrors the tack that President Trump and other Republicans have taken against Sanders' single-payer proposal: At an AARP event last night, Biden warned that with Medicare for All, "Medicare as you know it goes away".
Some Democratic White House hopefuls are joining Biden in advocating for the public option, arguing it will be hard to go much further.
Biden's willingness to stand up against the Medicare for All forces is a gamble, yes, but it is a calculated one based on a bevy of polling that seems to suggest the former vice president's positioning on the issue is the most popular approach.