Kamala Harris unveils healthcare plan: 5 things to know


Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.), a Democratic presidential candidate, speaks at the National Urban League Conference on July 26 in Indianapolis.

"Call it anything you want, but you can't call this plan Medicare for All".

Kamala Harris released the details of her healthcare plan July 29, a few days before the second Democratic presidential debate.

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. Elizabeth Warren says in almost every stump speech she gives. In January, she said she supports the Sanders Medicare for All plan, which would outlaw most private health insurance in four years.

Booker, now eighth in polling according to RealClearPolitics, sought to capture some of that support by noting Biden's new criminal justice plan stands in contrast to the 1994 crime bill Biden helped draft.

Warren is also a proponent of Medicare for All, and said at the last debate that private insurance should essentially be done away with.

This morning, Harris released a plan created to reconcile her health policy contradictions.

She also proposed rolling out the policy over ten years, instead of the two years proposed by Sanders.

Harris is calling for exempting households making less than $100,000 per year from that 4 percent tax, with "a higher income threshold for middle-class families living in high-cost areas".

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"To pay for this specific change, I would tax Wall Street stock trades at 0.2%, bond trades at 0.1%, and derivative transactions at 0.002%". And some unions have been vocal in their misgivings about the Medicare for All plans pushed by candidates like Warren and Sen.

Biden, the front-runner right now in the 2020 Democratic race and the only top-tier contender who doesn't support a single-payer Medicare-for-all system, has repeatedly taken jabs this month at Harris over a lack of straightforwardness on how she'd pay for her plan.

Under the Harris plan, the private health coverage that would remain would be so heavily regulated as to be effectively government-run, and the plan would still require a complex transition from the current employer-based system to one where the government is responsible for financing most health care. And would this bring American health costs down overall? Harris has argued that she was a staunch defender of the Affordable Care Act in the face of Republican challenges, and that her plan is simply building on President Barack Obama's plan. And healthcare providers are similarly going to wonder how much they will be paid through the plan - one of the biggest questions surrounding Sanders' Medicare for All plan.

Moderated by Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper, candidates will be given 60 seconds to respond to moderators' questions and 30-second rebuttals. And, of course: could it pass Congress? It thus allows her to support a program that nominally provides for universal Medicare while also allowing some private coverage to exist. Health insurance, she said, was a pain to deal with. She later clarified her stance to explain that her vision of Medicare-for-all would allow private insurance for supplemental health concerns.

Expect bare-knuckle political sparring when 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden battles his Democratic rivals this week, with challengers criticizing him on racial issues and low-polling candidates seeking last-gasp breakouts for their sagging campaigns. Amy Klobuchar, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen.

The timing of Harris's plan was calculated, giving her a distinct position on a so-far confounding issue just in time for the second Democratic debates, which will take place this week in Detroit. He had indirectly swiped at Harris over the idea of implementing Medicare for All without raising taxes on the middle class: "Come on!"

In their last debate match up, Harris attacked Biden harshly over his past opposition to federally mandated busing.

This week's debate will be a make-or-break night for most of the Democratic hopefuls, including de Blasio, who's been scrambling to stay in the race and meet the threshold to qualify for the September debates in the Democratic race.

Biden defended his record but appeared caught off guard by the exchange, a shaky response that could give voters pause about his ability to go toe-to-toe with Trump on a debate stage or otherwise in a general election, said Michigan-based pollster Bernie Porn.