On January 21, Kamala Harris, announced her intention to join the 2020 presidential race while appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Yesterday, during a town hall meeting moderated by CNN anchor Jake Tapper, she stressed to an audience of potential future constituents at Drake University in Des Moines where she stands on health care.
The Democratic Senator from California reiterated her support of progressive health care policies, including “Medicare for All.” Senator Harris further explained that she would be willing to eliminate private insurance if it was necessary to achieve a government-run, single-payer health insurance plan for all Americans. She suggested that insurance companies today are “inhumane,” making health care decisions based solely on financial motives while ignoring the heavy human costs.
Kamala Harris’ stance on Medicare and health care coverage are well-known as they were clearly outlined in her New York Times opinion piece published on December 29. In it, she reflected on the death of her mother from cancer in 2009, prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a Medicare recipient, her mother had access to the treatment and services that she needed, whereas, at the time, about 30 million others had no health coverage at all. Harris’ was “grateful [her] mother had Medicare” and pledged to “fight for it to be guaranteed to all.”
Senator Harris has long touted the benefits of universal health care on both moral and fiscal grounds. This sentiment was on full display in her remarks at last night’s town hall in which she echoed policies popularized in legislation put forward by Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. According to Harris, “we have to appreciate and understand that access to health care should not be thought of to be a privilege. It should be understood to be a right.”