Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to support our work—that time is now.

Our mission is simple: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

But without the support of our readers, this model does not work and we simply won’t survive. It’s that simple.
We must meet our Mid-Year Campaign goal but we need you now.

Please, support independent journalism today.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Former Vice President Joe Biden looks on as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) raise their hands during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

'No, No I Do Not': Kamala Harris Clarifies She Does Not Support Abolishing Private Insurance

"I am a proponent of Medicare for All. Private insurance will exist for supplemental coverage," the California senator said

Jake Johnson

For the second time in a period of five months, Sen. Kamala Harris was forced to clarify Friday morning that she does not support eliminating private health insurance just hours after making it seem to many that she did.

"No, no I do not," Harris said during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" when asked if she supports abolishing private insurance. "I am a proponent of Medicare for All. Private insurance will exist for supplemental coverage."

Harris's remarks came after she raised her hand in response to an "awkwardly phrased" question from NBC's Lester Holt during Thursday night's Democratic presidential debate.

"Many people watching at home have health insurance through their employer," Holt said. "Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan?"

Harris said she interpreted the question as asking whether she would be willing to give up her own private insurance plan in favor of a government-run program like Medicare for All.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the lead Senate sponsor of the Medicare for All Act of 2019, was the only other candidate on the stage who raised his hand in response to Holt's question.

According to The Hill, "Sanders's plan would cover every medically necessary service, including dental, vision, and long-term care for people with disabilities. That would leave little room for private insurers to cover anything except cosmetic surgery."

"Harris has seized on this technicality in the past," The Hill reported, "to argue that Medicare for All wouldn't eliminate private insurance and that 'supplemental coverage' would still exist."

Larry Levitt, senior vice president for health reform at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told the Washington Post in May that, "As a technical matter, the Medicare for All bill would allow private insurers to sell supplemental policies for benefits not covered by the government plan."

"As a practical matter," Levitt said, "the government plan covers such a comprehensive set of benefits that there would be virtually no role for private insurance."

Harris's comments Friday mark the second time this year she has clarified her position on private health insurance following a television appearance.

During a CNN town hall in January, Harris suggested she would support eliminating private insurance. Just hours later, a Harris campaign aide put out a statement saying the senator is open to multiple incremental healthcare plans that would keep private insurance intact.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·


'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·


'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressives Rebuke Dem Leadership as Clyburn Dismisses Death of Roe as 'Anticlimactic'

"The gap between the Democratic leadership, and younger progressives on the question of 'How Bad Is It?' is just enormous."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo