Stabenow (D) 'Happy to Debate' Abolishing Private Insurance

Senator not worried about 2020 Democrats being too progressive for Michigan

July 29, 2019

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on Monday she would be happy to debate abolishing private health insurance.

"Some of them are willing to have private insurance go away," Camerota said, referring to the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.

"There are differences. I'm happy to debate that. Donald Trump wants to take everybody's health care, period," Stabenow said, "He wants to take away health care by taking away the ability to get coverage for pre-existing conditions. He's already taken away prescription drug coverage as an essential service by putting junk plans onto the marketplace, so I'm happy to have that debate."

Two Democratic presidential frontrunners, Senators Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), have called for abolishing private insurance. Senator Kamala Harris (D., Calif)'s position on private insurance has been unclear, but most recently she said would not abolish private insurance, though private insurance plans will be forced to "adhere to strict Medicare requirements on costs and benefits" under her plan.

When pressed by Camerota if proposals like Sanders's would be too progressive for Michigan voters, Stabenow said, "I think all of that will work its way out."A recent poll found that Michigan voters oppose eliminating private insurance by a margin of 52 percent to 37 percent.

President Trump won Michigan in 2016 by just over 10,000 votes, the tightest margin of any state he won. Stabenow won reelection to the Senate in 2018 by six points, her closest election since 2000.