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In the second round of questioning at tonight’s Democratic debate—after discussing the economy—NBC News host Lester Holt asked the 10 Democrats assembled onstage if they would support abolishing private insurance.
Medicare for All has become a buzzword in the run-up to the debates, but because so many candidates have latched on to the phrase, it’s lost a lot of meaning. True Medicare for All would eliminate private insurance.
But when asked, though, only Bill de Blasio and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) raised their hand to say they supported abolishing private insurance.
Warren was asked about her plan to eliminate private insurance in favor of a government-run system.
“I spent a big chunk of my life studying why people go broke,” Warren said, noting that people with insurance still file for bankruptcy, because insurance companies want to “bring in as much money for premiums, and pay out as little as possible.”
Other candidates like John Delaney and Beto O’Rourke spoke out in defense of private insurers
“How are you defending a system that is not working,” countered Bill de Blasio, after O’Rourke said he wanted to work within America’s current health insurance system.
Warren added that she thought people wanted to maintain the current system because they didn’t want to fight.
“They just won’t fight for it, I will fight for it, healthcare is a basic human right, and I will fight for human rights.”
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David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]