Former Vice President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign has been steadily losing support after his bad performance in the debates last week.
However, his sit-down with CNN’s Chris Cuomo this week could probably provide more insight into why some of his supporters have started to jump ship.
Biden was asked about his health care plan, including whether he would bring back the individual mandate — the Obamacare requirement where you either bought insurance or had to pay a tax to the government that was ended by the Trump tax cuts.
“Yes. Yes, I’d bring back the individual mandate,” Biden said.
“You think that’ll be popular?” Cuomo said.
“Well, it’s not — yes, now it will be, compared to what’s being offered,” Biden said. “And here’s the deal, Chris, we’re in a situation where if you provide an option for anybody who, in fact, wants to buy into ‘Medicare for all,’ they can buy in. They buy in! And they can do it. But if they like their employer-based insurance, which a lot of unions broke their neck to get … they shouldn’t have to give it up.”
“The flip of that is if you don’t go my way, and you go their way, you have to give up all of that.”
Biden: “If you provide an option for anybody who in fact wants to buy into Medicare for All, they can buy in. They buy in and they can do it. But if they like their employer-based insurance, which a lot of unions broke their neck to get… they shouldn’t have to give it up” pic.twitter.com/iQXEw2M01F
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 5, 2019
Right. And if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.
This clip ought to frighten every one of us. What he’s talking about here is bringing back a thoroughly burdensome requirement that hurt the poorest and most vulnerable among us, a requirement that essentially constituted a transfer of wealth from the healthy to the sick and forced people to sign up for plans with skyrocketing premiums, often with deductibles so high they were functionally useless.
Biden also voiced his support for extending government-subsidized coverage to illegal immigrants during his interview with Cuomo.
“I think undocumented people need to have a means by which they can be covered when they’re sick,” Biden said. “This is just common decency.”
“In an emergency, they should have health care. Everybody should. Anybody here in the country. How do you say ‘You’re undocumented, I’m gonna let you die, man?'”
Biden on healthcare for undocumented immigrants:
Joe Biden says undocumented migrants should have health care: “How do you say ‘You’re undocumented, I’m gonna let you die, man?'” https://t.co/IWLUBnWaHR pic.twitter.com/mVxWtEm2Gx
— New Day (@NewDay) July 5, 2019
That’s not actually what would happen and that’s not actually what Biden is proposing. Obamacare, for instance, didn’t have coverage for illegal immigrants. No accusation has, in the intervening years, been levied against hospitals for letting illegal immigrants die because they didn’t have health insurance.
But this isn’t about just not letting people die. This is about using government money to pay for health care for individuals who generally don’t pay the federal taxes that subsidize this.
How is this fair? The answer is that it isn’t, which is why 59 percent of Americans polled on the issue late last month said they didn’t support the plan.
The last thing that Americans want is a return of the type of Obamacare that taxes people if they refuse to buy something and then uses tax money to pay for the health care of men and women who are here illegally.
The great irony here is that it’s questionable this will be enough for Democrats; judging by the current Democrat field, they’ve moved onto other fun stuff like eliminating private insurance entirely. That may be worse than Biden, but that doesn’t make the former vice president’s plan good in a relative sense.
We ought to be grateful that we’ve cast off the yoke of the individual mandate. Why would we want Obamacare’s worst provision to rise anew from the grave with a new provision that gives our government money away to individuals who have no legal right to be in this country in the first place? Why would we vote for anyone who proposes that?
I hope those two questions are rhetorical. The problem is that for Joe Biden and the Democrat field, they aren’t. Maybe this will help him recover some momentum among the party’s activist base, but for the rest of America, it ought to be a very sobering wake-up call about the stakes we face in the 2020 election.
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