Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who famously squared off during a Democratic debate last month, immediately were pitted against each other to start tonight’s faceoff of White House hopefuls in Detroit on CNN.
The pair greeted each other warmly during the candidate introduction, and Biden took the opportunity to say to her, “Take it easy on me, kid.” Smiles ensued, but the game faces came out soon afterward.
CNN moderator Dana Bash predictably began the questioning with Harris, who laid out her healthcare plan that would be “10 years of a transition.” She continued to lay out her vision for the “public plan under my plan for Medicare and a private plan.” “The bottom line is this: We must agree that access to healthcare must be a right and not just a privilege for those who can afford it.”
Bash then called on Biden. “My response is that the senator has had several plans so far, and anytime someone tells you you’re gonna get something good in 10 years, you should wonder why it takes 10 years,” he said. “If you notice, there’s no talk about the fact that the plan, in 10 years, will cost $3 trillion.”
Harris was looking down at and writing notes while Biden spoke, and when called upon for a reply, she said: “Unfortunately, Vice President Biden, you’re just simply inaccurate in what you’re describing. The reality is that our plan will bring healthcare to all Americans under a ‘Medicare for All’ system.”
She went on to detail more of her plan before Biden was given another chance to rebut.
“The plan, no matter how you cut it costs three trillion dollars when it is in fact deployed — after two terms of the senator being president” he said, elongated those italicized words. He also said it will require middle-class taxes to go up, eliminate employer-based insurance, and “what happens in the meantime?”
Harris then said, “First of all, the cost of doing nothing is far too expensive. Second, we are now pay $3 trillion a year for healthcare in America. Over the next 10 years it’s probably gonna be 5 trillion. We must act.”