Elderly Voter To Harris: 'Leave Our Health Care System Alone'

'We don't want you to mess with it'

Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris / Getty Images
August 12, 2019

California Senator and presidential hopeful Kamala Harris (D.) encountered a cold reception during a campaign stop on Monday at a nursing home with one elderly constituent telling her to "leave our health care system alone."

The retiree asked Harris if she could ask her a question. "I understand that you are advocating for health care for everyone," she said.

"Yes, I am," Harris responded.

"Who's going to pay for it?" the woman asked.

"Well, we're going to pay for it," Harris said. "Because right now, let me tell you something, we're all paying for health care for everyone and it's in an emergency room."

"No we're not," the woman fired back. "No we're not. Leave our health care system alone. We don't want you to mess with it."

"Ok. I don't intend to mess with it -- do you have Medicare?" Harris said. "Well, I want to make sure your health care is the way you like it, so I'll promise you that. Okay? I won't mess with the health care that you have."

Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra posted a video of the encounter to Twitter.

Harris has been unclear throughout the campaign on whether she favors eliminating private insurance or not. Her campaign's health care plan would allow for the continuation of some private insurance plans with extremely strict requirements.

Earlier this year, Harris signed on to co-sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I., Vt.) Medicare-for-All legislative proposal completely abolish all private insurance plans. She echoed that sentiment in a town hall with CNN's Jake Tapper, saying, "Let's eliminate all of that. Let's move on," when asked about private insurance.

She later walked back that proposal, but created more confusion when she said her health care plan would abolish private insurance plans during the first Democratic debate. She then claimed she misheard the question and clarified she did not support abolishing private insurance.