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Biden clashes with Warren, Sanders on healthcare in Democratic 2020 debate

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Biden clashes with Warren, Sanders on healthcare in Democratic 2020 debate

By Tim Reid and Joseph Ax

 

2019-09-13T012957Z_1_LYNXNPEF8C04I_RTROPTP_4_USA-ELECTION-DEBATE.JPG

Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren debate during the 2020 Democratic U.S. presidential debate in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 12, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

 

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden clashed with progressive challengers Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders on healthcare in a debate on Thursday, defending Obamacare and accusing them of not being honest about the cost of their plans.

 

Biden, who served as vice president for eight years under Barack Obama, said he would build on Obama's landmark healthcare law and accused Warren and Sanders of wanting to tear it down with their support for Medicare for All, a government-run healthcare plan that would eliminate private insurance.

 

"I know that the senator says she's for Bernie. Well I'm for Barack. I think Obamacare worked," Biden said. "This is about candour, honesty, big ideas."

 

Warren, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, who has moved into second behind Biden in opinion polls of the Democratic race to face Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election, praised Obama's healthcare efforts.

 

"Now the question is how best can we improve on it," she said, adding that under Medicare for All, those at the top would pay more but the middle class would pay less.

 

Sanders, who sponsored the Medicare for All plan in the U.S. Senate, said the plan based on the existing government-run Medicare programme for Americans 65 and older was the most cost-effective approach. Some analysts have estimated his plan would cost $32 trillion over a decade.

 

The battle over healthcare has been the biggest area of disagreement in the Democratic race, with candidates battling on how to improve on Obamacare.

 

Biden said his plan would give Americans more options, including staying with their plans if they like them.

 

"I’ve never actually met anybody who likes their health insurance company," Warren responded.

 

Former U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro accused Biden of flip-flopping in his description of his own plan.

 

"Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?" Castro asked Biden, 76, who is known for being prone to gaffes and has faced questions about his age.

 

When Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, noted the exchange was what people did not like about politicians, Castro shot back: "That's called an election.”

 

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota also tried to calm things down, noting: "A house divided cannot stand," borrowing from a famous speech by Abraham Lincoln.

 

The debate featured the top 10 candidates for the party's presidential nomination sharing a stage for the first time. The previous two Democratic debates in June and July were split over two nights.

 

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang opened the debate by promising to give $1,000 a month to 10 Americans for the next year, calling it a "freedom dividend." The offer drew laughs from a few other contenders.

 

"It's original, I'll give you that," Buttigieg said.

 

The first two rounds of debates also were contentious, as Biden came under repeated attacks for his record on race and criminal justice reform and his views on healthcare.

 

But several of the candidates tried to emphasise their areas of agreement and turn their criticism towards Trump. Biden praised former U.S.

 

Representative Beto O'Rourke for his work after a mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, drawing a sustained ovation from the debate crowd.

 

The sharp bickering during the first two rounds of the debates dismayed some Democrats, who have urged the candidates to rein in their attacks and focus on laying out their own affirmative agendas.

 

(Reporting by Tim Reid and Joseph Ax; Additional reporting by Ginger Gibson and Doina Chiacu in Washington; Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Peter Cooney)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-09-13

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35 minutes ago, Saint Nick said:

A Biden-candidacy would be the death- blow for the Democrats hopes!

Trump will go onto a wild ride with Uncle Joe and mop the floor with him!

(And I am not saying this, because I would like that!)

IMHO the only way, Democrats will win, is a Bernie/ Warren- ticket (maybe Bernie/ Beto or mayyyyybe Warren/ Beto)!

And please spare me the crocodile tears about the idea, you couldn't pay for universal healthcare or free college or both and more!

The money is there, you just need to reshuffle: tax the superwealthy, take a bite out of the military, end one or the other war...

The US- citizens are behind the progressive ideas on gun-control, Climate change etc!

The Democrats need to seize those sentiments!

Like Mr. Trumps says the on;y thing the dems are good at is sticking together! They loose at  the marketing aspect of stealing money from Americans to pay for their radical plans of taking away people's rights through gun control  , what amounts to stealing from the rich hard working people who create jobs.  And most of all a climate change policy that would cost trillions for the USA! 

Wall Street will defeat this attack on American values 

Edited by riclag
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Those 3 are 224 years old!! There is just something wrong with this picture. 

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9 hours ago, Tug said:

Joe is right we can’t afford Medicare for all as much as I wish we could I’m still thinking it will be joe Biden and Harris on the ticket smart practical experienced tough and appealing unifying race and gender

And I'm thinking we can join the rest of the "developed" nations by having a national healthcare program ... if we stop spending so much on killing others.

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5 hours ago, Saint Nick said:

A Biden-candidacy would be the death- blow for the Democrats hopes!

Trump will go onto a wild ride with Uncle Joe and mop the floor with him!

(And I am not saying this, because I would like that!)

IMHO the only way, Democrats will win, is a Bernie/ Warren- ticket (maybe Bernie/ Beto or mayyyyybe Warren/ Beto)!

And please spare me the crocodile tears about the idea, you couldn't pay for universal healthcare or free college or both and more!

The money is there, you just need to reshuffle: tax the superwealthy, take a bite out of the military, end one or the other war...

The US- citizens are behind the progressive ideas on gun-control, Climate change etc!

The Democrats need to seize those sentiments!

And it all relies on motivating them to vote ... to do that the Democrats must present a candidate the working middle class believes can make a difference.

  • Thanks 2

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