Bernie Sanders and his cult-like followers may be high on Medicare for All, but Joe Biden had the courage to defy Progressive Twitter.
In hindsight, it shouldn’t be surprising that Joe Biden thrashed Bernie Sanders to emerge as the presumptive frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination.
For too long, the U.S. healthcare discussion has been dominated by those on the extreme end of the debate. The juiciest news soundbites have come either from the “free healthcare for all” camp or the “I’m alright Jack, look after yourself” crowd.
While Bernie Sanders and his acolytes undoubtedly sit in the first camp, Joe Biden’s common sense approach to healthcare reform has been a breath of fresh air.
It took guts to defy the Progressive Twitter outrage machine. Here he is this week vowing to veto the democratic-socialist sacred cow – Medicare-for-All – if he becomes president (via Twitter):
When pressed on the issue of healthcare, Joe Biden commented:
Healthcare should be a right in America.
This isn’t just election rhetoric, folks. Let’s not forget that Biden was front and center during the introduction of Obamacare during his time as vice president.
Speaking to MSNBC, Biden explained why that doesn’t mean that Medicare-for-All is a good idea:
My opposition [to ‘Medicare-for-All’] relates to whether or not a) it’s doable, 2) what the cost is, what the consequences for the rest of the budget are. How are you going to find $35 trillion over the next ten years without having profound impacts on everything from taxes on middle-class and working-class people, as well as the impact on the rest of the budget?
I know, a common-sense approach to healthcare in the era of polarising politics is crazy, right?
That’s what we’re getting from Joe Biden, though, and it’s a dose of much-needed sanity.
At a time when he was vying with Bernie Sanders for votes in the Democratic primary, it would’ve been easy to provide a non-committal approach to Medicare-for-All.
After all, he needs to win over those voters who may be impressed by Bernie Sanders’ healthcare rhetoric. Especially if he aims to get them to the polls in November.
He hasn’t just made his position clear at the risk of upsetting potential voters. He’s gone a step further and declared he’ll veto a Medicare-for-All bill should it cross his desk as president:
I would veto anything that delays providing the security, the certainty, of healthcare being available now. If they got that through and by some miracle, there was an epiphany that occurred, and some miracle occurred that said ‘OK, it’s passed,’ then you got to look at the cost. And I want to know how did they find the $35 trillion? What is that doing?
Granted, it’s improbable this would ever happen anyway. Sanders has a laughable level of legislative support for his bill. But Joe Biden is effectively claiming he’d defy a Democratic Congress that coalesced behind Medicare-for-All.
That takes conviction and principle.
Which is what will be needed if Biden has any chance of defeating Trump and restoring some sense of normalcy to the White House.