Sen. Michael Bennet on Wednesday said Democrats squandered a brief window when they had been able to go on offense on the issue of health care, pinning the blame on 2020 presidential rival Sen. Bernard Sanders and others for pushing a universal “Medicare for All” health care plan.
He said Democrats had been playing defense on the issue for roughly a decade after Obamacare was signed into law in 2010 and Republicans kept trying to repeal it.
“And then they failed to do it,” the Colorado Democrat said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “And for one blessed week, Democrats were on offense on health care and then Bernie introduced Medicare for All, six candidates got on, including Elizabeth [Warren] on that bill, and we’ve been playing defense ever since.”
“Donald Trump is the first president in American history to actually take insurance away from millions of Americans — we should make it very clear that Democrats are actually for universal coverage,” he said. “He’s taking their health insurance away, and I think Medicare for All, unfortunately, muddies that message because it does make illegal insurance for 180 million Americans.”
Mr. Sanders’ vision would ultimately do away with private insurance plans. Mr. Bennet and several other candidates have said such a move would be too much of a shock to the system and have instead advocated for a public insurance option.
Mr. Bennet said that if nothing else, Mr. Sanders is at least being honest about his proposal.
“He’s been clear that it’s going to cost new taxes of over $30 trillion; he’s clear that he’s going to make illegal all private insurance in the country except cosmetic insurance,” he said.