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Kamala Harris wants to totally eradicate private health care: 'Let's eliminate all of that'
Noah Berger/AFP/Getty Images

Kamala Harris wants to totally eradicate private health care: 'Let's eliminate all of that'

The 2020 Democrat wants more than just Medicare expansion

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), one of the first Democrats to officially announce a 2020 presidential run, pulled no punches when discussing her vision for the future of America's health care system during a CNN Town Hall in Iowa.

During the event, Harris called for the complete elimination of the private health care system, citing issues like paperwork and wait times for approval of coverage.

What she said

After Harris mentioned her support for Medicare for all, CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who was hosting the town hall, asked a clarifying follow-up:

Tapper: Just to follow up, on that, correct me if I'm wrong. To reiterate, you support the Medicare for all bill, initially co-sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders, you're also a co-sponsor. I believe it will totally eliminate private insurance. So, for people out there who like their insurance, they don't get to keep it?

Harris: "The idea is that everyone gets access to medical care and you don't have to go through the process of going through an insurance company, having them give you approval, going through all the paperwork, all of the delay that might require. Who of all of us have not had that situation where you have to wait for approval and the doctor says, 'I don't know if your insurance company is going to cover this. Let's eliminate all of that. Let's move on."

At least she's honest?

Harris won't follow the same path as former President Barack Obama, who told us over, and over, and over again that "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it:"


Of course, that turned out to be a lie. The lie of the year for 2013, in fact, according to PolitiFact. Here's what Angie Drobnic Holan wrote back then:

Obama's ideas on health care were first offered as general outlines then grew into specific legislation over the course of his presidency. Yet Obama never adjusted his rhetoric to give people a more accurate sense of the law's real-world repercussions, even as fact-checkers flagged his statements as exaggerated at best.

Instead, he fought back against inaccurate attacks with his own oversimplifications, which he repeated even as it became clear his promise was too sweeping.

The debate about the health care law rages on, but friends and foes of Obamacare have found one slice of common ground: The president's "you can keep it" claim has been a real hit to his credibility.

In the end, analysts estimate that about 4 million people received notices of cancellation from their insurers as a result of Obamacare.

"There is no doubt that the way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate," Obama said at the time.

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