NBC revealed weak support for “single-payer,” government-run health care finance systems Wednesday in a key demographic group: Democrats who are running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
The Democratic Party is letting 20 contenders participate in its first two national debates this week. Ten of the candidates shared a stage in Miami Wednesday. Ten more are supposed to go on stage in Miami today.
One of the moderators, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, said that many of the viewers watching the debate had employer-sponsored health coverage.
“Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan?” Holt asked.
The only two candidates who raised their hands were New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
De Blasio argued that private health insurance is not working for tens of millions of Americans, because of high premiums and high out-of-pocket costs.
“How can you defend a system that’s not working?” de Blasio asked.
Warren accused health insurers of sucking $23 billion in profits out of the health care system in 2018.
“That doesn’t count the money that was paid to executives, or the money that was spent on lobbying in Washington,” Warren said. “We have a giant industry that wants our health care system to stay the way it is. It’s not working for families, but it’s sure as heck working for them.”
Anonymous tweeters who said they support the Medicare 4 All proposals contended that Warren had decided to support Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal only recently and questioned how firm her commitment to the proposal really is.
Sanders’ Medicare for All bill calls for replacing private major medical insurance with a government health care program. The bill would also replace or crowd out private dental insurance, private vision insurance, private long-term care insurance, and the forms of supplemental health insurance designed mainly to pay patients’ out-of-pocket medical bills.