Pete Buttigieg 'drops' $1.5 trillion health care plan

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced his $1.5 trillion public option health care plan on Thursday.

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Calling the plan "Medicare-for-all who want it," Buttigieg said he'd balance the hefty price tag with "cost savings and corporate tax reform to ensure big corporations pay their fair share" in an op-ed in The Washington Post.

"Rather than flipping a switch and kicking almost 160 million Americans off their private insurance, including 20 million seniors already choosing private plans within Medicare, my plan lets Americans keep a private plan if they want to," Buttigieg wrote. "If private insurers are unable or unwilling to offer better plans than they do today, competition from this public alternative will naturally lead to Medicare-for-all."

He contrasted his plan with Medicare-for-all as supported by Democratic Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Their plans would all but spell the end of private health insurance and cost the federal government an extra $32 trillion over a decade by some estimates.

Meanwhile, Buttigieg said his plan would cap marketplace premiums for Americans on private insurance.

From left, Marianne Williamson, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper,

"Our plan would cap marketplace premiums at 8.5% of a person's income," Buttigieg wrote.

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It's not the only trillion-dollar plan Buttigieg has dropped. He released climate proposal earlier in September that could cost between $1.5 trillion and $2 trillion over 10 years.

That plan is small change compared to the ones unveiled by other Democratic presidential hopefuls. Andrew Yang's proposal would cost $4.87 trillion and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's plan would cost about $3 trillion.