Former Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that every American should have access to Medicaid as a form of “public option” alternative to Medicare for All.
Biden called for “total health care” access for every American on Monday during a Poor People’s Campaign event.
“I think everyone’s entitled to have total health care and what I would do is make sure that every single person as I proposed — every single person in the United States has access to Medicaid right off the bat,” Biden said.
Biden’s comments mirror similar statements he made in May; however, the former Vice President suggested that he wanted a Medicare– not a Medicaid– public option.
A public option would allow some — or all Americans in Biden’s case — to receive government healthcare while keeping private health insurance for those who prefer that form of health coverage compared to a government option. Many believe a public option would serve as a compromise between a single-payer program such as Medicare for All and America’s current system under Obamacare.
Although Biden has backed a public option as his healthcare campaign proposal, he has said that the “vast majority of people are satisfied with their own healthcare system today.”
Biden’s more moderate stance on health care contrasts with Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) call for Medicare for All.
The Vermont democratic socialist claimed last week that a lot of people in the country would be delighted to pay more in taxes” to get Medicare for All.
However, given the enormous cost of Medicare for All, even Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL, expressed concern over the lack of “pay-fors” in Medicare for All during a hearing last week.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) slammed Sanders last week, suggesting that Medicare for All would lead to “higher taxes, longer wait times, and worse care.”