Joe Biden rolled out his new health care plan over the weekend, John Berman said, introducing CNN correspondent Jessica Dean with the details.
“Look, this is becoming the issue that is quickly becoming a defining issue for these candidates. We’re starting to see only some of the contrasts,” Dean said.
“Let’s break down what Joe Biden is offering here. Two big components here: Federal subsidies to make Obamacare exchanges cheaper. A public option program similar to Medicare, it also allows Medicare to negotiate to make drug prices cheaper. Federal subsidies to make it cheaper. This is going to allow a family of four making $110,000 to save about $750 a month. They’re also going to support gold plans versus silver. A gold plan’s gonna let you have a lower deductible down that public option, then you’re going to be able to put in people who are in Republican-led red states that were not able to get — they did not expand Medicaid. So now they’re going to be enrolled in this public option. Also, if you have health insurance you don’t like, you can join the public option. But if you start reading these, what you’ll notice is this is a lot of what they wanted originally with Obamacare when they first proposed all of this. That’s not what they ultimately got, but the Biden campaign really wants to come back, they want to strengthen Obamacare.
“They want to catch some of these people that they know are either paying to much or they really can’t afford it. Or people like those people in those states that didn’t expand Medicaid that aren’t able to have health insurance. So this really a contrast with some of these other more liberal candidates that want to go more toward Medicare for all. That’s really the key difference here, is that Biden wants to keep and strengthen Obamacare.”
Former Clinton communications director Jess McIntosh talked with John Berman about the politics of the Biden proposal.
“It’s basically the original Obamacare with the public option. That’s the policy. People can buy into a Medicare option if they want. From the political perspective, what this does is it allows Joe Biden to differentiate himself from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Is that useful to him or how is that useful to him?” Berman said.
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“On the one hand, you’re right about what he’s going back to,” McIntosh said.
“But he’s going back to it in a country that has moved significantly farther than where we were in 2008. If the country was where we are now, regardless of Republican obstructionism, which we’re always going to have to deal with, I think we would have gotten a public option. Now the numbers for Medicare for all are really quite strong across the board. If you add that Medicare for all with the option of keeping your private insurance, you can get up to 40% of Republican support. So we’re not looking at really very leftist ideas here. We’re looking at ideas that have a broad general consensus.
“So I think basically the entire field at this point wants some form of expanded government health care. Most of them leave in the private insurance option. Bernie and Elizabeth Warren, the two notable exceptions, for Medicare for all in its purest form. I don’t think that most of the electorate is going to be voting based on the incremental difference between the candidates on this issue, but it is really exciting to have this debate when the other side is so engaged in disinformation around healthcare.”