Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet took the baton from Rep. John Delaney to put the progressives' feet to the fire over Medicare for All in Round Two of the Democratic debates in Detroit. Like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Tuesday night, Sen. Kamala Harris defended the radical health care plan, only to have the more moderate Democrats onstage remind her it's not as moral as she thinks it is, nor as economical.
Bennet finished listening to Harris praise her health care plan, which she's flip flopped on, before jumping in and urging her to stop lying.
"You can't hide from the truth," he said.
If he becomes president, he intends to "finish the job we started with the Affordable Care Act with a public option" that gives families the option to pick either public or private insurance. Medicare for All doesn't give Americans the option, as its proponents have admitted. It would kick people off their private plans.
Bennet said Harris' plans to make employer-based insurance "illegal."
"It doesn't make any sense for us to take health care away from half the people in this room and put huge taxes on everybody in this room," he said.
Harris disagreed with the conclusions. Her plan does not make anything "illegal." What it does do, she explained, is separate employers from health care. To put it another way, health care "will not be a function of where you work."
Harris also adopted Warren's and Sanders' talking points...to accuse Bennet of using Republican talking points.
"We cannot keep with the Republican talking points on this," she said. "You've got to stop."
That attack line right there got another candidate onstage heated. Former Vice President Joe Biden was so fired up about it that he used his favorite word.
"This idea is a bunch of malarkey," he said.
Sanders' and Harris' plan, which was also defended by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, will cost $30 trillion, Biden reminded voters. As such, "there will be a deductible."
Biden amusingly added, "I don't know what kind of math you do in New York or California, but "that's a lot of money."
"This isn't a Republican talking point," he said. The Republicans, he reminded the audience, voted to repeal Obamacare.
Bennet had more to say later on in the evening, but he and Harris kept things respectful, calling each other "friend." Although those endearments did get chuckles from the audience.