Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday said he didn’t understand why some of the 2020 Democratic contenders are failing to defend Obamacare, notably its protections for people with pre-existing conditions, amid calls to move to a more far-reaching “Medicare for All” single-payer system.
“I don’t get this. I don’t know what the Democrats are doing,” Mr. Emanuel said on CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
Mr. Emanuel said the provision in the law that offers coverage protections for people with pre-existing conditions is working and that the section has broad popularity.
“Here’s what I don’t get, and I love my party, but nine months ago we made this the central issue that allowed us to take back the House and nine months later, everybody’s got amnesia,” he said. “It’s the most important thing, and it’s the most popular thing.”
At Wednesday’s debate, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden did say Obamacare is working, as he also advocated for a public health insurance option to compete against private plans.
“Obamacare took care of 20 million people right off the bat, 100 million people with pre-existing conditions,” he said.
But others, like Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, have said a public option isn’t good enough and have pushed for a universal health care system that would ultimately abolish private insurance plans.
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