Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) acknowledged during Tuesday’s Democrat debate that his plan to provide “Medicare for all who want it” would force Americans to pay for health insurance.
CNN’s Abby Phillips asked Buttigieg why he claimed he was offering voters a choice for government health care when his plan would force the uninsured to be on a government plan and pay for it.
“Well it’s making sure that there is no such thing as is an uninsured American,” Buttigieg said. “Look the individual mandate was an important part of the ACA because the system doesn’t work if there are free riders.”
Buttigieg said that the choice he offered was allowing wealthy Americans to remain on their private plan if they liked it rather than move to a government plan.
The former South Bend, Indiana, mayor argued that his plan was cheaper than the more dramatic plan offered by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
The Buttigieg campaign argued after the debate exchanges that his plan would offer significant subsidies for low-income and middle-class Americans and cap the public option premium payment to 8.5 percent of their income.
Sanders and Warren argue that it is important to only have a single-payer health insurance plan so that all Americans are invested and covered in the same government plan.
President Donald Trump repealed the individual mandate leveled by Obamacare in 2018, one of the most unpopular provisions of the former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare reform bill.