Harris Flip-Flops Again, Now Supports Abolishing Private Health Care Plans

(Updated) She said last month 'Medicare for all' didn't eliminate supplemental insurance

June 27, 2019

Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) raised her hand Thursday to signal she was in support of abolishing private health insurance plans if she becomes president.

She and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) both signaled yes when asked by debate moderator Lester Holt if they would "abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan."

Harris said in January that she was in favor of getting rid of private health care plans in favor of a true "Medicare for All" system, but she backtracked after receiving attacks for the position and said she was open to multiple paths toward coverage for everybody.

In May, she told CNN host Jake Tapper that her vision "doesn't get rid of supplemental insurance." A producer on Tapper's program tweeted out that Harris had apparently reversed herself yet again.

Sanders, who has championed "Medicare for all" for years, has been upfront about his plan eliminating private health insurance and hiking middle-class tax rates. He has celebrated how it will get profit out of the health-care system and thereby leave more money in people's pockets.

The Washington Post elected not to give Harris any "Pinocchios" in its Fact-Checker blog for her claim last month that "Medicare for all" wouldn't get rid of private insurance.

"But her language is slippery," the Post wrote. "She could more forthrightly admit that the health plan she supports envisions virtually no role for the private insurance now used by nearly 220 million Americans."

UPDATE: 12:45 A.M.: Harris told New York Times reporter Vaughn Hillyard she took the question to meet her own health insurance plan and that people should continue to opt into private supplemental insurance.