Donald Trump spent much of the first presidential debate interrupting Joe Biden. Biden responded by calling Trump a clown and a liar.
The presidential candidates also spent some time talking about health care and health coverage — and they ended up agreeing on the proposition that people should be able to buy private health insurance.
The president and former vice president clashed Tuesday in Cleveland, in a battle moderated by Chris Wallace, a Fox News anchor.
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Trump said that Biden has endorsed Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal by embracing Sanders and Sanders’ voters, and that Biden will lose support from Sanders’ supporters if he fails to back Medicare for All.
Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal would create a pure, government-run, “single payer” health care finance system. If the proposal were passed and implemented as written, it would outlaw major medical insurance.
Biden said that, during Democratic primary debates, other candidates accused him of wanting to let Americans continue to have private insurance, and that this observation was correct.
“They can, they do and they will, under my proposal,” Biden said.
Biden said that he has proposed creating a government-run public option program, but that his proposal would make the public option program available only to the kinds of low-income people who, in many states, would be eligible for Medicaid.
“The vast majority of the American people would still not be in that option,” Biden said.
Trump said that his administration has already taken a major step toward replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), by getting rid of the ACA individual coverage mandate. The mandate provision requires many people to have what the government classifies as solid major medical coverage or else pay a penalty. Congress included a provision zeroing out the penalty in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
“I got rid of the individual mandate,” Trump said. “That was the worst part of Obamacare…. We made it better. We took away the individual mandate. They shouldn’t even call it Obamacare.”
Trump said he’s had his people run Obamacare as well as they can, to try to help people.
“The problem is, no matter how well you run Obamacare, it’s a disaster,” Trump said. “It’s too expensive. The premiums are too high.”
Trump said that, in addition to eliminating the individual mandate, his administration has taken steps toward cutting the prices of prescription drugs, and that it’s made a great deal for insulin. “I’m getting it so cheap it’s like water,” he said.