Ady Barkan says he believes “millions of people like me will still be denied care by their for-profit insurance company” under Harris’ plan.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California and a presidential candidate is holding to her belief that her version of “Medicare for All” is indeed “the best,” as she said during an August forum. There's just one problem. The unwavering defense of her self-drafted health care plan didn’t sit with progressive activist, lawyer and author Ady Barkan. Barkan pointed out what he found to be large flaws in Harris' proposal. In a video that captured his discussion with Harris, Barkan, who was diagnosed with ALS about 3 years ago, asked Harris why she was using the phrase “Medicare for All” to describe her plan. To him, it sounded more like something “closer to a combination of private and public options instead of a single-payer ‘Medicare For All.’”
Unlike Bernie Sanders' bill, Harris' plan proposal would give Americans the option of keeping their private health insurance plans. Harris' plan also includes a 10 year transitory period to phase out privatized insurance, but some say the 10 year period is too long.
Harris explained to Barkan that with her plan, “everybody will be covered … and it will be a Medicare system” in which private insurers “have to be in our system … and it will be by our rules.” That's when Barkan decided to say that he thinks Sanders’ single-payer bill is the best approach for reforming the health care system.
So, what's the big issue?
With Harris’ plan, Barkan said, “millions of people like me will still be denied care by their for-profit insurance company” during the 10-year transition period. Because of this, he believes that people “will avoid getting needed care because of high co-pays and deductibles.” Barkan continued by saying that "the insurance industry is going to do everything it can to block any of these proposals, including yours, which means the only way to win is with a huge grassroots movement, and from what I can see, that enthusiasm only exists for ‘Medicare for All.’” He fished by asking Harris if he was wrong.
Harris responded by saying, "You can get into the system of ‘Medicare for All’ and have a public plan, you don’t have to do a private plan. It’s your choice.”
Barkan's concerns echo those of many Iowans just before United Healthcare pulled out of Iowa in August of this year. More than 425,000 disabled and poor Iowans had to switch health insurance carries. The departure came after Iowa officials broke off contract negotiations because of what Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds deemed as "unreasonable and unsustainable" demands from United Healthcare.
Twitter is talking.
Barkan is still quick to point out holes in Harris' health care plan and Harris still stands by her plan. That didn't stop twitter from erupting saying that Harris seemed nervous while being questioned about her plan and that Barkan was blunt and didn't hold back at all.
For more information, see the video below.
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