Ever since one leading 2020 presidential candidate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., called for eliminating private health insurance to implement “Medicare for All,” there has been pushback by some moderate Democrats, including a Washington Post columnist who cautioned the party against embracing such a platform, especially while campaigning against President Trump.
Harris is one of the biggest champions for “Medicare for All,” especially on Capitol Hill, where she co-sponsored a bill with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. However, after reiterating her support for the program at a CNN town hall earlier this week, Harris was asked about those who currently have health insurance plans through private companies.
“So for people out there who like their insurance, they don’t get to keep it?” CNN anchor Jake Tapper asked.
“Well, listen. 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,” Harris replied. “Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on.”
Her remarks drew a response from Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle, who made the argument that if Harris and other Democrats embrace “Medicare for All,” it could hand Trump a second term.
McArdle cites polling that shows “Medicare for All” is popular on its surface, but that it also takes a drastic hit among likely voters who oppose the program if it means higher taxes and an end to private insurers.
“There’s a certain freedom in having Trump as an opponent — he’s so loathed in many quarters of the electorate that you can propose almost anything and still be pretty certain of those votes. And yet, not entirely certain,” McArdle wrote. “If you force suburbanites to choose between having a lewd race-baiter in the White House and sacrificing their health-insurance coverage… or paying higher taxes… or many of the other disruptive things progressives want to do… well, maybe they decide the troglodyte is the lesser of two evils.”
“Democratic politicians such as Harris seem to be screwing up their courage to take the plunge. The question is which way Democratic primary voters will bet: on some boring centrist who will never even try to deliver the radical change so many of them crave, or on the fire-breathing progressive who might accidentally deliver them another four years of Donald Trump,” she concluded.