Cory Booker said Wednesday, in Detroit, that the candidates running for the Democrats’ 2020 presidential nomination should take a calmer approach to talking about health insurance.
Some of the 10 candidates who participated in the the second night of the Democrats’ second presidential primary candidates’ debate promoted proposals similar to Bernie Sanders’ pure, government-run Medicare for All health finance system, which would ban the sale of traditional private health insurance.
Some promoted alternatives that could let private health insurers have a permanent role in helping to protect people against health care bill risk.
Booker, a Democrat who represents New Jersey in the U.S. Senate, said he and his colleagues ought to think carefully about how they talk about the issue.
“The the person that’s enjoying this debate most right now is Donald Trump, as we pit Democrats against each other, while he is working right now to take away Americans’ health care,” Booker said during the debate, which aired on CNN.
Booker pointed out that the Trump administration is now supporting the plaintiffs in a federal court case, Texas v. United States, that could gut the current Affordable Care Act health insurance framework, and eliminate the ACA ban on medical underwriting.
Booker said Democrats should respond to Republicans’ attacks on the ACA by focusing on people’s right to have access to health care, rather than on the details about how to achieve universal access.
“However we get there, there has to be to end this broken system, because we are on our way, in just a handful of years, toward literally spending 20% of our economy, one out of every $5, on health care,” Booker said. ”We spend more than every other nation, on everything from MRIs to insulin.”
Booker said he will attack that problem by working to get the United States to a point where everyone is covered.
“But this pitting against progressives against moderates, saying one is unrealistic and the other doesn’t care enough, that to me is dividing our party and demoralizing us in face of the real enemy here,” Booker said.