Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) flip-flopped again at Thursday evening’s Democratic debate, saying she would end private health insurance — returning to her original position after her campaign said she would tolerate some private insurance.
In January, Harris told a CNN town hall that she supported “Medicare for All,” and suggested that she supported ending private health insurance: “Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on,” she said.
After her remark generated controversy — and implied a threat to the millions of Americans who rely on employer-based health insurance and other private options for their medical care — Harris attempted to walk the remark back. Her campaign said that she would remain open to other health care policies that would preserve private insurance — even though she had signed on to co-sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-VT) “Medicare for All,” which would outlaw private health insurance.
As recently as last month, Harris said that she would support “supplemental” private health insurance, even under the Sanders plan (though the room for such insurance plans would be so small as to be insignificant).
Yet on the debate stage on Thursday, when moderator Lester Holt asked which candidates would abolish private health insurance in favor of a government plan, Harris and Sanders both raised their hands:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio both raised their hands Wednesday night for the same question.
According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the majority of Americans had private health insurance in 2017 — 49% of them obtaining insurance through their employers, and another 7% receiving health insurance through non-group plans. By comparison, 36% of Americans received some form of public health insurance.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.