New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio went after former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke for being too moderate on health care in a heated exchange that received no applause during the first Democratic presidential debate in Miami Wednesday night.
“How can you defend a system that’s not working?” de Blasio asked O’Rourke.
O’Rourke had said he would not abolish private health insurance. (RELATED: Tulsi Gabbard Answers Debate Question About Equal Pay For Women With Rant About Military Spending)
“Our plan says that if you’re uninsured, we enroll you in Medicare. If you’re insufficiently insured — you can’t afford your premiums — we enroll you in Medicare. But if you’re a member of a union that negotiated for a health care plan that you like because it works for you –” O’Rourke said before being cut off by a moderator.
“The choice is fundamental to our ability to get everybody cared for,” he later said.
“Congressman O’Rourke, private insurance is not working for tens of millions of Americans. When you talk about the copays, the deductibles, the premiums, the out-of-pocket expenses, it’s not working. How can you defend a system that’s not working?” de Blasio interrupted.
O’Rourke calls his health plan Medicare for America and has shied away from embracing Medicare for all. De Blasio and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren were the only two candidates on the stage who raised their hands to say they would give up their private health care for government-run health care Wednesday night.
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