Former Vice President Joe Biden, analysts say, needs to have a strong showing in the debate this week in Detroit, given how Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) went after him viciously on his civil rights record during the first round of Democratic primary debates a month ago.
And by unveiling her new health plan on Monday, Harris may have lobbed an easy one Joe’s way for their high-stakes faceoff on Wednesday night. (The most prominent Dems battling it on stage tonight will be Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.)
Biden slammed Harris’ latest health care plan — which would put the country on a path toward a government-backed health insurance system while also stopping short of completely getting rid of private insurance for Americans — saying she wants it “every which way.”
The proposal by the California senator “positions her to the right of progressives,” noted CNN, which is hosting the debates this week.
“But it is to the left of moderates like [Biden], who would retain the present system but add a government-run — and presumably less expensive — insurance option to the Affordable Care Act exchanges.”
— The Hill (@thehill) July 29, 2019
More than 20 individuals are still running for the 2020 Democratic nomination and the chance to go up against President Donald Trump in November 2020.
Far-Left progressives want a highly expensive and pie-in-the-sky Medicare for All system, while Harris has offered a more mixed message.
In a statement, Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedinfield said of the Harris plan, “The new, have-it-every-which-way approach pushes the extremely challenging implementation of the Medicare for All part of this plan 10 years into the future.” She also called the plan’s release the latest in “a long and confusing pattern of equivocating about [her] stance on health care in America.”
“That pattern has now taken yet another twist,” Bedingfield also said in the statement.
Today, I’m announcing my Medicare for All plan. We’ve reached a crisis point for health care in America and it’s time we finally fix this broken system for good.https://t.co/Z1R24lZg6S
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 29, 2019
Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), for his part, said of the Harris plan on Monday, “Well, first of all, I like Kamala. She’s a friend of mine, but her plan is not Medicare for All,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.”
“What Medicare for All understands is that health care is a human right,” insisted Sanders, “and the function of a sane health care system is not to make sure that insurance companies and drug companies make tens of billions of dollars in profit.”
Both health care and the economy are sure to be prime topics at Tuesday night’s debate.
Those taking the stage this evening beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern are the following: Marianne Williamson; Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke; former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; former Maryland Rep. John Delaney; and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.
Sanders and Warren will be at the center of the stage, as Fox News reported.
Meanwhile, Trump is heading to Jamestown, Virginia, on Tuesday, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first representative assembly in the western hemisphere — the beginnings of American democracy. Some local Democrats are already vowing to boycott that event.