Kamala Harris Stands by Latest Private Insurance Reversal

Harris has been inconsistent on the role of private health insurance

July 12, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) confirmed during a Friday appearance on The View that her Medicare for All plan would not eliminate private supplemental health insurance, rebutting her own past statements indicating that she supported abolishing private insurance.

The PAC America Rising has publicized a clip of Harris's comments. In front of The View's panel, Harris pitched her health care platform. "Access to health care should be a right and not a privilege of just those who can afford it," Harris said.

When Harris affirmed to Sunny Hostin that she was a proponent of Medicare for All, Joy Behar quickly interjected to question whether Harris's plan would accommodate the option to purchase private insurance.

"And private insurance, also? Because that's what I have," Behar said.

"Supplemental private insurance," Harris replied, nodding her head.

Kamala Harris has been inconsistent in her comments on the role private insurance plays in her vision for health care reform. Early in her campaign, Harris endorsed the elimination of private insurance during a CNN town hall, but soon backed away from the position. During the first presidential debate, she raised her hand when candidates were asked if their platforms would abolish private health insurance, but the next morning she said that she misheard the question, and does not call for eliminating private insurance.

With her comments on The View, Harris appears to be standing by the position that her plan would provide Medicare for All, but allow the option for supplemental private health insurance.

Harris is a co-sponsor of Sen. Bernie Sanders's Medicare for All bill in the Senate, which explicitly outlaws private health insurance which duplicates benefits provided through the act.