California Democrat Senator Kamala Harris kicked off her 2020 campaign for the White House this week, vowing to bring government run healthcare to all Americans.
But during a town hall with CNN's Jake Tapper Monday night, Harris revealed her single-payer healthcare plan wouldn't simply provide taxpayer funded insurance to everyone, but also eliminate private insurance -- including employer based plans -- altogether. In other words, if you like your healthcare plan President Harris wouldn't allow you to keep it.
"I believe it will totally eliminate private insurance. So for people out there who like their insurance — they don’t get to keep it?" Tapper asked.
"Well listen, the idea is that everyone gets access to medical care. And you don’t have to go through the process of going through an insurance company, having them give you approval, going through the paperwork, all of the delay that may require," Harris responded. "Who of us has not had that situation where you’ve got to wait for approval, and the doctor says, “Well, I don’t know if your insurance company is going to cover this”? Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on."
There are a number of problems with Harris' proposal. First, it's too expensive. A government run healthcare system cannot exist without massive tax increases on the middle class.
Several independent studies have estimated that government spending on health care would increase dramatically, in the range of about $25 trillion to $35 trillion or more over a 10-year period. Specifically, a study released over the summer by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University estimated it would cost $32.6 trillion — $3.26 trillion per year — over 10 years. For comparison, the federal budget proposal for the fiscal year 2019 was $4.4 trillion, the Congressional Budget Office states.
Second, government run health insurance is not the same thing as medical care. In fact, Obamacare has resulted in fewer covered procedures, high premiums and deductibles that don't actually pay for basic visits to the doctor and lengthy wait times for medical services.
The upside? Unlike President Obama, Harris is being honest about ripping away private health insurance from Americans.