Newly announced 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) dodged questions Friday over repealing private health insurance on SiriusXM’s Joe Madison Show.
Booker announced his candidacy on early Friday morning, joining Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) as Democrat presidential candidates.
Joe Madison opened the interview by mentioning that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), during a CNN town hall, proposed eliminating private health insurance through her Medicare for All proposal. She since faced significant backlash and walked back her call to eliminate private health insurance.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-NJ) also recently dodged the question over whether her Medicare for All plan would eliminate all Americans’ health insurance plans.
Madison asked Booker if he would also propose eliminating private health insurance.
Booker dodged the question, saying, “You know, I try to get people because remember, we have a common pain in this country because we lost that sense of common purpose.”
The New Jersey Democrat continued:
And so, where I start on the issue of health care, is what I believe all Americans believe, that there shouldn’t be a person in this country that has to put aside a perscription drug, a life-saving drug, an epi-pen because they can’t afford it. There shouldn’t be a person in this country that if they get sick, they can’t go to the doctor or they wait until it gets so bad that they go to an emergency room.
Booker said that he continues to fight for a healthcare system for “everyone.”
Sen. Booker did not elaborate on his specific Medicare for All plan, however, he did mention that he would give a “public option” for Americans.
Booker claimed that his plan would drive down healthcare costs and increase “access” to health care.
More centrist Democrats have suggested that Medicare for All would serve as a good fit for the country.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the second-highest Senate Democrat, expressed concern over Harris’s call to eliminate Americans’ health insurance.
“I don’t want to guess what [Harris is] thinking, but that is a massive part of the American economy. There is a system in place for funding it,” Durbin said. “It would take a mighty transition to move from where we are to that.”
Potential 2020 presidential candidates Michael Bloomberg and Howard Schultz also criticized Harris.
Bloomberg rebuked the idea of Medicare for All on Tuesday, saying, “You could never afford that, you’re talking about trillions of dollars.”
Former Starbucks CEO Schultz said the idea of Medicare for All is “not American.”
“That’s not correct. That’s not American,” Schultz said in reference to Medicare for All. “What’s next? What industry are we going to abolish next? The coffee industry?”
A Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 56 percent of Americans favor Medicare for All, but Americans’ favorability of the socialized medicine proposal drops to 37 percent when they hear that it would eliminate private health insurance.
Tricia Neuman, director of Kaiser’s program for Medicare policy, said, “Most people are satisfied with the health insurance until they have a problem. The public favors these proposals that would broaden choice, but also want to be sure they don’t lose something that they value.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.