At the Washington Post’s “The 2020 Candidates” forum, Sen. Amy Klobuchar fired back at interviewer Robert Costa, suggesting that Vice President Joe Biden’s healthcare plan was taken from her legislation.
“Vice President Biden has proposed adding a public option to the current [Affordable Care Act]. What makes your plan different?” Costa asked.
“No, you should ask him what makes his plan different from mine, because I came in first,” Klobuchar said.
During the forum, Klobuchar said that her healthcare plan will include the expansion of the Affordable Care Act. Biden announced his healthcare plan will also expand on the efforts of the ACA, also called Obamacare.
“I am someone that believes we need to improve on our health care. We need to reduce costs for health care. There are many ways we need to do it. The first is we should build on the Affordable Care Act,” Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar noted that she would not be in favor of eliminating private insurance companies. She believes there should be a buy-in option for federally run health insurance.
“I don’t believe we should kick half of America off their private insurance in four years,” Klobuchar said.
The cornerstone of both Klobuchar and Biden’s ACA expansion efforts are to drive down drug prices by attacking Big Pharma.
“Big Pharma thinks they own Washington,” Klobuchar said. “But, they don’t own me.”
Klobuchar floated an idea, also conveniently found in the Biden plan, to allow consumers to purchase prescription drugs from other countries (Also called drug importation).
Allowing drugs to be imported into the country would bypass the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), but ignoring FDA standards puts Americans at risk of consuming dangerous drugs.
Another common theme between Klobuchar and Biden, is how they tout their bi-partisan efforts at the forefront of their campaigns.
Biden bragged of his bi-partisan efforts during his countless years in the Senate. He talked about his bi-partisan efforts, especially with Senators many would consider racist. Biden received major backlash from other 2020 Democrats like Sen. Cory Booker for his comments that were intended to highlight his ability to work across party lines.
Throughout the duration of her Washington Post forum, Klobuchar mentioned multiple bills that she worked on with progressives such as Bernie Sanders, as well as bills she worked on with Republicans such as Sen. Chuck Grassley. Yet, her record of bi-partisanship seems much less controversial than Biden’s.
Most likely because Biden is the front runner for the 2020 Democratic nomination while Klobuchar polls at a measly one percent.
Klobuchar and Biden will not be on the same stage during the second round of Democratic debates at the end of July. Klobuchar will be taking the stage on Tuesday July 30, with progressives Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
As both Klobuchar and Biden offer similar proposals, Klobuchar will provide a litmus test to see how voters react to a relatively moderate healthcare plan proposal, comparative to the very progressive plans like that of Sanders or Warren.