Atlanta Mayor: Millions of People Don't Want Their Private Insurance Abolished

Abolishing private insurance 'is unsettling to a lot of people'

August 28, 2019

Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D.) said "there are millions of Americans who don't want to give up their private health insurance" in response to a question about former Vice President Joe Biden's opposition to Medicare for All. Biden released a campaign ad on Tuesday stating he would build on the Affordable Care Act as president.

"He's comparing the president with obviously his primary opponents like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who want to introduce Medicare for All. Why is he making that comparison?" CNN host John Berman asked.

"Well, I think it's important that he explains to voters where he stands and how he compares not only with those who are also vying to become president of the United States but also with the president of the United States," Bottoms responded. "Obamacare has been life changing for millions of Americans, and I think that people somehow have forgotten how difficult it was for us to achieve all that we did with Obamacare."

"Do you think that Senator Warren and Senator Sanders forget how difficult it was as you're saying?" Berman asked.

"I can't speak for them. What I do know there are millions of Americans who don't want to give up their private health insurance," Bottoms said. She then recounted a story of someone on her political team who has a retired father who doesn't want anybody to touch his health insurance.

"He said that he gave up so many things in terms of salary and negotiations so that he could have his health—his private health insurance for the remainder of his life. And I think that speaks to the sentiment of so many people, especially in these important Rust Belt states that we need to win to win the presidency in 2020," she continued.

Berman asked if Biden's opposition to eliminating private insurance would be central to distinguishing himself from the rest of the Democratic field.

"It's an important distinction for those who care about health insurance, for those who want to maintain their private health insurance and for those who want to expand on the Affordable Care Act," Bottoms responded.

"To think that we have to start over on health care and add that to the many challenges that we have, I think really is unsettling to a lot of people. We have the Affordable Care Act and what better person to repair the damage that's been done than the person who helped create it?"

Bottoms endorsed Biden for president back in June.