Biden Clashes with Sanders While Ripping Medicare for All: ‘Put Your Hand Down for a Second, Bernie!’


Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) clashed over their opposing health care platforms during Thursday’s Democratic debate in Los Angeles, as the moderate Biden slammed his progressive opponent for having a supposedly unachievable policy goal.

“I don’t think it is realistic. Let me explain why,” began Biden. “I’ve added to the Obamacare plan ‘the Biden initiative,’ which is a public option, Medicare if you want to have Medicare, reducing significantly the price of drugs, deductibles, et cetera, made by underwriting the plan to a tune of about $750 billion, and making sure we’re able to cover everyone who is in fact able to be covered.”

After Sanders attempted to interject, Biden brushed it off with some snark: “Put your hand down for a second, Bernie, okay?”

“Just waving to you, Joe. Saying hello,” the Vermont lawmaker joked in response.

Biden went on to insist his plan is “realistic” and more “importantly, it lets you choose what you want.”

“Under Joe’s plan essentially we retain the status quo,” Sanders snapped back “Joe, under your plan — you asked me how are we going to pay for it. Under your plan I’ll tell you how we’re paying for it right now. The average worker in America, their family makes $60,000 a year. That family is now paying $12,000 a year for health care, 20% of their income. Under Medicare for All, that family will be paying $1,200 a year because we’re eliminating the profiteering of the drug companies and the insurance companies and ending this byzantine and complex administration of thousands of separate health care plans.”

Biden took Sanders’ comment as a chance to interrupt — which he justified by saying he is the “only guy who has not interrupted” —  saying that Medicare for All would cost “$30 trillion over ten years … Tell me, you’re going to add 84 percent more [people to Medicare] and there’s not going to be higher taxes? At least before he was honest about it. It’s going to increase personal taxes.”

“That’s right, we are going to increase personal taxes,” Sanders said. “But we’re eliminating premiums, we’re eliminating co-payments, we’re eliminating deductibles, we’re eliminating all out of pocket expenses, and no family in America will spend more than $200 a year on prescription drugs. Our plan will save the average worker.”

According to the poll tracking website Five Thirty Eight, Biden and Sanders are the two consensus frontrunners in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

Watch above, via CNN.

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Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma