President Barack Obama called Medicare-for-all, or universal government-provided health care, a “good new idea” during a speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Obama criticized the Trump administration and outlined the alternative Democratic plan for the country.
“Democrats aren’t just running on good old ideas — like a higher minimum wage — they’re running on good new ideas, like Medicare-for-all, giving workers seats on corporate boards, reversing the most egregious corporate tax cuts to make sure college students graduate debt free.”
The line was met with wild applause from the university audience.
Obama’s embrace of Medicare-for-all matches the policy priorities of the emerging democratic socialist wing of the party, championed by Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and rising New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Obama’s principal legislative accomplishment as president was passing the Affordable Care Act, which fundamentally overhauled the American health-care industry. The law survived multiple legal challenges and Supreme Court rulings but has been gutted by GOP controlled House and Senate under the Trump administration.
“Democrats aren’t just running on good old ideas — like requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns. And barring lobbyists from making campaign contributions,” Obama concluded, taking another swipe at Trump.