“The fear that you all live in, understandably, if somehow tomorrow they said ‘No insurance, you’re not covered,’ is just devastating,” Biden said, adding that he would implement a public option and expand eligibility for Medicaid under the 2010 health care law in states that have not done so.
Ady Barkan, a progressive activist with ALS who supports “Medicare for All,” said health insurance coverage shouldn’t hinge on someone’s employment status or income. Coverage often doesn’t go far enough to cover treatment like long-term care, Barkan said.
“Even during this terrible crisis, Donald Trump and Republican politicians are trying to take away millions of people’s health insurance,” he said, speaking through a computer because he is paralyzed by his illness.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., a co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus and the lead sponsor of the House Medicare for All bill (HR 1384), said Monday during a Washington Post Live interview that the Biden campaign made concessions to progressives on a public option that would make the policy more palatable. For example, the platform says that a public option would be administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, not a private insurance company.
“What we did is we looked at the foundational pieces of Medicare for All that we could get into the platform,” she said. “That’s not necessarily saying the words Medicare for All, but untethering employment from health care. That is huge, and that’s what we did.”