Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris stated on Monday that she feels “very strongly” about fully embracing the single payer health insurance system that would overhaul the entire American health care market.
And she didn’t mince words.
“We need to have Medicare for all,” Harris responded during a CNN Town Hall with Jake Tapper at Iowa’s Drake University.
Sen. Kamala Harris discussed climate change, Medicare, President Trump and more in a CNN town hall with @jaketapper last night. @KyungLahCNN reports. https://t.co/tRn2NRTBMb pic.twitter.com/AP1WgNPvlT
— New Day (@NewDay) January 29, 2019
Referring to the current system as “cruel” and “inhumane,” Harris argued that health care should no longer be thought of as a privilege but “it should be understood to be a right.”
“It is inhumane to make people go through a system where they cannot literally receive the benefit of what medical science can offer because some insurance company has decided it doesn’t meet their bottom line in terms of their profit motivation,” Harris said.
“That is inhumane.”
Tapper followed up, pressing Harris on what a Medicare-for-all system means for the Americans who like their current insurance.
“Listen, 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 gotta wait for approval? And the doctor says ‘well, I don’t know if your insurance company’s gonna cover this?” Harris asked.
“Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on.”
The social media response to Harris was split. Some favored the Democrat’s ideas.
As someone who works for a health insurance company, I will gladly forfeit my job if it meant everyone in the U.S. has access to medical care that could potentially save their life without worrying over whether they can afford it.
— JJ (@justinyoo13) January 29, 2019
I’ve never met anyone who had to deal with a health insurance company’s claims department and who thought they had been treated well and fairly. In contrast those with Medicare are pretty happy with how they get treated.
— treeesq (@treeesq) January 29, 2019
Others were scornful.
I’d rather pay for an insurance plan on my terms than have the government raise my taxes significantly just to add another layer of bureaucracy that historically fails on many levels.
— Sonoran Conservative (@SonoranConserv) January 29, 2019
I’ll never understand why people think a government bureaucracy would work better than a for-profit entity.
— Christopher Brown (@olderChrisBrown) January 29, 2019
The California senator announced on Martin Luther King Jr. Day that she is officially throwing her hat into the ring and seeking the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 2020.
A week later, she ceremonially kicked off her presidential campaign with a speech that focused on racism and police brutality.
If elected, Harris would be the United States’ first female president.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ran, but lost to President Donald Trump in 2016.