Senator Warren speaks at the first U.S. 2020 presidential election Democratic candidates debate in Miami,...
ABOLISH PRIVATE INSURANCE?
Hands flying in the air and voices raised, the first divisions between the candidates flared over a question about whether Americans should get to keep private health insurance under Democratic plans to expand healthcare coverage.
Two candidates, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, raised their hands enthusiastically in support of replacing a private insurance system with a government-run Medicare for All.
Warren rejected politicians who call such proposals impossible.
"What they're really telling you is they just won't fight for it," she said. "Well, healthcare is a basic human right, and I will fight for basic human rights."
When former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke said he would not eliminate private insurance, de Blasio interrupted: "How can you defend a system that is not working?"
Former Congressman John Delaney of Maryland, a little-known candidate, muscled his way into the conversation to defend the position of the party's moderate wing. He pointed out that his father enjoyed the private health benefits negotiated through his union. "Why do we have to stand for taking away something from people?" PICTURED: Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks. REUTERS/Mike Segar