CNN Anchor Hits Harris for ‘Talking Around’ Her Health Care Plan Eliminating Private Insurance

Harris's campaign motto is 'Speak truth'

• August 1, 2019 12:40 am


CNN's Inside Politics host John King on Wednesday hit Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) for not having the "courage" to admit her health care plan would take away private health insurance.

King appeared on CNN for post-debate coverage, where he castigated Harris for not admitting her health care plan would eliminate private insurance plans.

"In the health care exchange with Senator Harris, I think the former vice president held his ground and he tried to make his point for his health care plan, have a public option buy-in, don't have this giant disruptive thing," King said.

"To you point about Senator Harris, she should have learned this from her prosecution of him in the first debate," King continued. "She still refuses as Senator Sanders and Senator Warren had the courage to do last night to look the camera in the eye and say, ‘Yes, yes. My health care plan takes away—if you get it from your employer, you lose it.' She doe not want to say that though."

King went on to reiterate that Harris doesn't want to admit her plan will eliminate private insurance and that she is always trying to "talk around" it.

"Her campaign motto is ‘Speak truth.' Well the truth is her plan takes that away and she doesn't want to talk about it," King said.

Later in the night, CNN political commentator Kirsten Powers criticized Harris's health care plan, saying, "It's not anywhere near" what many Democrats feel is necessary for the "health care crisis." She went on to criticize the lack substance during Wednesday night's debate compared to Tuesday night, where Sens. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) discussed Medicare for All.

"I just cannot wait to see [Harris] have that debate with Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren because I think that they are probably going to shred this proposal because it has a 10-year time for this to roll out," Powers said. "This basically means that she will be out of office by the time it actually fully goes into effect, right? So it's not anywhere near I think what a lot of Democrats would feel is necessary and that there's this crisis, this health care crisis and this kind of incrementalist approach."

The Sacramento Bee published a fact-check of Sen. Michael Bennet's (D., Colo.) claim during Wednesday night's debate that Harris's health care plan would ban employer insurance, where they said it would "ultimately eliminate the way most Americans currently get their health insurance: through their employer."

Professer Paul B. Ginsburg, director of the University of Southern California-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy, noted that the Medicare Advantage program, which allows private insurers to offer Medicare plans, is one of the fastest growing segments of Medicare. "It is very popular," said Ginsburg.

Harris’ proposal would, however, eliminate the employer-sponsored health insurance that many Americans currently rely on. Despite criticism, a recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that more than three-quarters of the public have a favorable view of employer-sponsored health coverage.

Published under: CNN, John King, Kamala Harris, Video