Former Vice President Joe Biden pledged Americans who “like” their employer-based or private insurance plans could keep them under a sweeping healthcare reform proposal his campaign unveiled on Monday.
Biden, who was instrumental in helping President Barack Obama pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA), made the promise during an AARP forum in Iowa when discussing how his “public option” proposal differed from Medicare for All.
“How many of you like your employer-based health care? Did you think it was adequate?” Biden asked those attending the forum. “Now, if I come along and say, ‘finished, you can’t have it anymore,’ well that’s what Medicare for All does. You cannot have it, period.”
Biden added that his plan, which his campaign estimates will cost $750 billion over the first ten years of implementation, would give “people the option” of private or public health insurance.
“If you like your health care plan, your employer-based plan, you can keep it,” he said. Biden added that “if you like your private insurance, you can keep it.”
Biden’s promise echoes the one made by Obama — “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” — when selling the American public on the ACA. The promise, as many have noted in the past, turned out to be impossible to keep because many of existing plans did not meet the strict regulations and standards created by ObamaCare. Although it is impossible to know how many plans were canceled, some have reported the number as being upwards of four million plans.
The crux of the plan Biden showcased on Monday is revolved around creating a new “public health insurance option” that will function similarly to other government-run programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
Even before the plan was released, Biden told voters in New Hampshire last week they would get to keep their private health insurance plans if he was elected president.