The California Democrat said she misunderstood the question and believed it was about whether she, personally, would give up her private plan in favor of Medicare.
“So, the question was would you be willing to give up your private insurance,” Harris said on “CBS This Morning.” When a host pointed out that is not how it was asked, Harris said, “That is certainly what I heard.”
Harris later told MSNBC that she does not support abolishing private insurance. “No, I do not,” she said.
“The question was would you give up your private insurance for that option and I said yes,” she noted, continuing with her answer about supplemental care.
Lily Adams, Harris’ top communications aide, said on CNN Friday morning that what Harris was saying was “I’m not going to have Medicare for all except for me. She would definitely put herself into a Medicare for All system.”
The idea is that everyone gets access to medical care, and you don’t have to go through the process of going through an insurance company, having them give you approval, going through the paperwork, all of the delay that may require. Who of us has not had that situation, where you’ve got to wait for approval, and the doctor says, ‘Well, I don’t know if your insurance company is going to cover this?’ Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on,” she said.
“No, no, no, no, it does not get rid of insurance,” she said. “It doesn’t get rid of supplemental insurance.”
The question is an important one because it could be a distinction between Sanders, the author of the Medicare for All bill, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren and the host of other Democrats who claim to support some version of it.
“If you want cosmetic surgery — under Medicare for all, we cover all basic health care need — I suppose if you want to make yourself look a little bit more beautiful, work on that nose or your ears, they can do that,” he told CBS in April.
And Warren embraced Sanders’ vision of Medicare for All during Wednesday night’s debate, closing the daylight between the two progressive Democrats atop the 2020 field.
“I’m,” she said on Wednesday, “with Bernie on Medicare for All.”