Manchester, UNITED STATES
Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) leaves the stage at...
Kamala Harris: For months, the U.S. senator from California - an original co-sponsor of Sanders' Medicare for All legislation - struggled to clarify whether she would eliminate private insurance in favor of a single-payer health plan, as the Sanders bill envisions. On at least two occasions, she appeared to answer in the affirmative before walking back her statements. Harris has since released her own Medicare for All plan, which stands somewhere between the sweeping Sanders proposal and more moderate alternatives. Under Harris' proposal, all Americans would be covered by Medicare. But private insurers would continue to play a role by offering plans within the Medicare system, similar to the current Medicare Advantage program that allows recipients to choose private insurance plans that offer extra benefits. The plan sets out a 10-year period to phase in the new system, unlike Sanders' goal of four years. Harris has said she would use a mix of new taxes on the wealthy and corporations to finance her plan, although she has not offered a precise price tag. Sanders' and Biden's campaigns criticized Harris' plan, with the former accusing her of folding to the interests of the health insurance industry and the latter saying she was undercutting the Affordable Care Act.