John Delaney lays strong rebuttal to Medicare-for-all in Democratic debate debut

Democratic presidential candidates mostly presented a united front during Night One of the primary debates on Wednesday – at least until it came to health care.

Only two 2020 hopefuls, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, raised their hands when asked whether they supported overhauling health insurance and replacing it with Medicare-for-All.

Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, meanwhile, delivered a blistering rebuttal to some of the more progressive Democrats’ plans to shift toward a single-payer health care system, laying out the case that health insurance needs to remain private.

“And it’s also bad policy,” Delaney said. “If you went to every hospital in this country and you asked them one question, which is how would it have been for you last year if every one of your bills were paid at the Medicare rate, every single hospital administrator said: They would close.”

Instead, Delaney – the businessman who accrued his wealth after co-founding two publicly traded companies before he was elected to Congress – vowed to implement universal health care, if he won the 2020 presidential election next November.

Under his plan, known as “BetterCare,” all Americans under age 65 would have a right to a government health care insurance plan but would maintain the ability to purchase a private plan if they wanted to do so.

“We should be the party that keeps what’s working and fixes what’s broken,” he said, to cheers from the audience. “Doesn’t that make sense? We should give everyone in this country health care as a human right for free, full stop. But we should also give them the right for private insurance.”

Delaney, who shared the stage in Miami with nine other candidates, reiterated throughout the two-hour event (during his limited speaking time) the need for bipartisanship.

“We need real solutions, not impossible promises,” he said.