Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign said thanks but no thanks to Joe Biden’s characterization of the Vermont senator’s presentation of his signature “Medicare for all” single-payer healthcare plan.
“Thank you, Joe Biden, for crediting our campaign for honesty. I’m sorry we can’t return the favor,” Bernie 2020 senior adviser Jeff Weaver said in a statement Wednesday. “Your continued use of the same insurance company scare tactics that were used against the Affordable Care Act is truly disheartening.”
Weaver said that “Medicare for all” would lower overall healthcare costs and ensure that Americans “get more healthcare while paying less for it.”
Earlier on Wednesday, former Vice President Biden told reporters in Detroit that “Bernie has been honest that it’s going to cost a tax on the middle class,” contrasting Sanders’ characterization of the single-payer plan with that of California Sen. Kamala Harris.
Harris, who also supports “Medicare for all,” told CNN last week that it is possible to pay for the program without raising taxes on the middle class, to which Biden respond on Wednesday, “What is this, some fantasy world here?” Biden said.
Under “Medicare for all,” virtually all private insurance plans considered “duplicative” would be illegal. Biden argues that the plan would unravel Obamacare.
The libertarian-leaning Mercatus Center at George Mason University estimates that Sanders’ “Medicare for all” plan could cost $ 32.6 trillion over the course of a decade, similar to the liberal Urban Institute’s 2016 estimate of $ 32 trillion over 10 years.
Sanders’ campaign accused Biden of being “pro-industry” and of “standing with health insurance companies and not patients.”
“Where is Joe Biden going to get the billions he’s suggesting in new subsidies that will go into the pockets of drug company and insurance company executives? Why is Joe Biden leaving over 10 million people uninsured? Why is Joe Biden not willing to say every person should be able to see any doctor or health professional they choose? “ Weaver said.