Gillibrand: ‘I Don’t Think’ Private Health Insurance Will Want to Compete with Public Option

During a town hall on CNN on Tuesday, 2020 presidential candidate Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) stated that under her plan, private health insurance companies will only exist if they want to compete with a public option, and “I don’t think they will.”

Gillibrand said she supports Medicare for all, “and I believe that the best way to get there is let people buy in, and that’s how we get to single-payer over a very short transition period.”

After Gillibrand expounded on her support for a public option, moderator Erin Burnett asked, “When you call insurance companies, though, ‘the middleman,’ under a President Gillibrand, would they be gone, no private insurance companies, yes or no?”

Gillibrand responded, “You’ll have to see whether they want to compete or not. I don’t think they will. So, the reason why we have a transition plan in the Medicare for all bill that a lot of us support is because you’re going to let Americans choose. If the insurance industry wants to continue to participate, to offer some kind of coverage for some kind of thing, they’ll have to compete for those customers, but if you let America choose basic care through Medicare, which is higher quality, and far more affordable, I can’t imagine that most Americans won’t choose it.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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