The $52 trillion Medicare for All plan that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) recently released would remove some 149 million Americans from their current healthcare plans, fellow 2020 contender Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said.
“She’s pushing for a policy that I don’t agree with and would kick 149 million Americans off of their health care in just four years—their current health care. That is a fact, it says it on page 8 of the bill, of the Sanders/Warren bill,” she said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“That being said, I think there’s a better way, with one big bold idea, and that is by having a competitive nonprofit option that can compete with the insurance companies, and bring the prices down,” Klobuchar added.
“I also think that we need to take on the pharmaceutical companies in a big way. Work that I’ve done with Sen. [Bernie] Sanders. And that means bringing in less expensive drugs from other countries, that means allowing and unleashing Medicare to negotiate and getting rid of that prohibition that says they can’t. I lead that bill and I will get that done as president.”
Klobuchar said that she wouldn’t call either Warren or Sanders an “elitist,” referring to a recent attack made against Warren by former Vice President Joe Biden.
“There is no monopoly on good ideas. And that’s a point I would make about Sen. Warren’s and Sen. Sanders’s proposals. I would not call them elitist,” she said.
But the Minnesota senator has attacked the Medicare for All proposals on a number of occasions, joining others in attacking Warren during the last Democratic presidential debate.
Klobuchar alleged that Warren hadn’t been honest about the costs of the healthcare program and the way 149 million people would be kicked off of their healthcare plans under Medicare for All.
After Warren responded by referring to her many plans, Klobuchar said, “The difference between a plan and a pipe dream is something we can actually get done.”
Warren later released her Medicare for All plan, which calls for trillions in new taxes and tax hikes.
Klobuchar also referred to the millions who would lose their current insurance during the September debate.
“While Bernie wrote the bill, I read the bill. On page 8 of the bill, it says we will no longer have private insurance as we know it. That means that 149 million Americans will no longer be able to have their insurance.
“I don’t think it’s a bold idea, I think it’s a bad idea,” she added, noting she supports a public option. “That is a bold idea,” she said.
Klobuchar, who has sought to portray herself as a moderate among radical candidates, claimed on Sunday that she’s been gaining momentum and garnering a slew of endorsements in Iowa, pushing back on new Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s claim that the current 2020 field doesn’t include anyone strong enough to beat President Trump.
An average of national polls shows Klobuchar in sixth with an average of 2.6 percent, a figure that has remained about the same for months. The top three has remained Biden, Warren, and Sanders, though South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has surged in some polls, including polls in Iowa, where the first primary in the nation will take place in Feb. 2020.
Asked if Buttigieg is qualified to run for president after being mayor of a small city, Klobuchar said anyone at the stage during the last debate is more qualified than the current president. Pressed on whether Buttigieg is qualified, Klobuchar said, “Yes.”