Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called out 2020 Democratic candidates on their “insane” push for Medicare for All plans.
The former Obama White House chief of staff warned on ABC News’ “This Week” that the 2020 contenders are pushing too far to the left on health care and will not only hurt themselves going into the general election, but will reset the “100-year effort” by former President Obama.
(Video: ABC News)
“On health care, the issue for Democrats is about price control and cost control. It is not about only coverage. It’s about cost. And we have got to rewire ourselves,” he told host George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.
“The fact is, when President Obama did the [Affordable Care Act], it was to be built upon — not to be pulled out and start all over again. This was a 100-year effort. That’s what’s insane about this process,” he added. “Your next step should be, early buy-in to Medicare for early retirees and then take on the fact that President Trump’s budget has the largest cut in Medicare ever.”
While candidates like Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg have acknowledged a desire for private options to remain available in their health care proposals, other 2020 hopefuls have been openly advocating abolishing private insurance. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have pressed for the single-payer health care plan known as “Medicare for All.”
More than half of Democrats in the House of Representatives have come out in support of the bill which was introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash. in February.
“Given the enduring nature of our health care access and affordability crisis, more must be done,” New York Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said in a statement to The Washington Post last month as he became the 118th co-sponsor of the bill.
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has firmly stood against a Medicare for All system, cautioning 2020 candidates on trying to eliminate Obamacare.
“I believe the path to ‘health care for all’ is a path following the lead of the Affordable Care Act,” the California Democrat said in a CNBC interview with “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer last month. “Let’s use our energy to have health care for all Americans, and that involves over 150 million families that have it through the private sector.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden touted Obamacare at the third Democratic debate last month while slamming his rivals for their sweeping government-funded plans.
The first #DemDebate question is about health care and it goes to former Vice President Joe Biden.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 13, 2019
White House hopefuls have come under fire for their unrealistic universal health care plans as the government sponsored health care would need vast sums of taxpayer funding. Warren addressed questions about that funding following a rally in Indianola, Iowa, according to the Washington Examiner.
“We need to talk about the cost, and I plan over the next few weeks to put a plan that talks about, specifically, the cost of Medicare for All, and specifically, how we pay for it,” she said. “This is something I’ve been working on for months and months, and it’s got just a little more work until it’s finished.”
“I think there have been many estimates about what the cost would be and many different payment streams. And I’ve been working on how to give the exact details to make that work,” Warren added, arguing that “every single person running for president” knows “the cheapest possible way to make sure that everyone gets healthcare that they need is Medicare for All.”
Emanuel, who has been consistently critical of Democrats pushing for universal heath care, sparked backlash from progressives last month after an appearance on “This Week” criticizing his party for proposing “to eliminate 150 million people’s health care, and we’re going to provide health care for people that have just come over the border.”
“Medicare for All which is…going to eliminate 150 million people’s health care and provide health care for people that just come over the border. That’s an untenable position for the general election.” –@RahmEmanuelpic.twitter.com/WTgicw5mOA
— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) September 8, 2019
“That is an untenable position for the general election,” he said. “This is reckless as it relates to — and you don’t have to take the position to win the primary. And you’re basically literally hindering yourself for the general election.”
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