“From the moment we passed that signature legislation, Mike called it a disgrace.”
– Former Vice President Joe Biden in feedback throughout the February Democratic main debate in Las Vegas
UPDATED at 9:17 a.m. ET on Feb. 20: This story was up to date to incorporate feedback from the Bloomberg marketing campaign we obtained after the story was posted. The feedback don’t change the ranking.
Sparring over well being care throughout the Nevada Democratic presidential main debate, former Vice President Joe Biden took problem with former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s document on the Affordable Care Act.
“From the moment we passed that signature legislation, Mike called it a disgrace,” Biden stated, a declare he repeated one other time throughout the debate.
Bloomberg sought to refute that cost, arguing that he defended the legislation and believed it needs to be expanded.
It was a heated second. Both candidates try to tie themselves to former President Barack Obama, who spearheaded the 2010 laws. So we determined to dig in.
We reached out to each campaigns for remark. The Biden marketing campaign despatched a CNN article, which cited a speech Bloomberg gave on the Dartmouth Presidential Lecture in July 2010 — just some months after the well being care laws was handed in March. In the speech, Bloomberg known as the Affordable Care Act “a disgrace.” Bloomberg’s marketing campaign directed us to statements he put out within the lead-up to the legislation’s passage, calling for the inclusion of a public medical insurance possibility individuals might purchase into.
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We discovered a video of the speech on YouTube. In the video, Bloomberg was unsparing.
“We passed a health care bill that does absolutely nothing to fix the big health care problems in this country. It is just a disgrace,” he stated. “The president, in all fairness, started out by pointing out what the big problems were, but then turned it over to Congress, which didn’t pay any attention to any of those big problems and just created another program that’s going to cost a lot of money.”
Those aren’t standalone remarks. As just lately as 2014, Bloomberg known as the legislation “really dysfunctional” throughout a chat he gave on the annual assembly of SIFMA, one of many monetary trade’s commerce teams.
Both occasions, Bloomberg was nonetheless a registered impartial — he didn’t grow to be a Democrat till 2018.
It’s additionally price noting that Bloomberg wasn’t espousing a minority view. The ACA’s approval rating was underwater till 2017, in keeping with polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (KHN is an editorially impartial program of the muse.)
On the controversy stage, Bloomberg sought distance from these remarks, saying he’s a “fan of Obamacare.”
“I wrote something supporting it either in the New York Post or the Daily News,” he stated.
Bloomberg’s marketing campaign pointed us to a 2009 New York Daily News op-ed that known as for a public possibility, together with different statements. But these weren’t his solely writings on the legislation.
A March 27, 2017, New York Post piece, as an illustration, additionally talks in regards to the ACA. But it got here years after Bloomberg’s mayorship ended. And whereas phrases like “disgrace” don’t seem, calling the piece a “defense” of the legislation isn’t fully honest.
In it, Bloomberg famous some key shortcomings — as an illustration, the well being legislation left 30 million individuals uninsured. He additionally argued in help of some concepts extra standard with Republicans, reminiscent of high-risk insurance coverage swimming pools, as a approach to convey down prices.
“It’s regrettable that none of these ideas was seriously considered in the rush to repeal ObamaCare,” Bloomberg wrote on the time.
It is price noting that Bloomberg’s current health care plan would construct on the ACA, largely by rising subsidies for individuals shopping for personal insurance coverage on the exchanges, and by putting in a Medicare-like public possibility. (That plan is kind of just like what’s been touted by Biden himself, in addition to by candidates like former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.)
Biden stated that Bloomberg known as the ACA “a disgrace.”
Evidence helps that. And it’s not the one time Bloomberg took problem with the legislation — even when it’s a core part of his present proposal for well being reform.
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