A Guide to the 2020 Democratic Primaries

Health care edition


There are eight weeks until Super Tuesday, March 3, the most important day of the presidential primary election. Fourteen states, including California for the first time, will vote. To prepare, read City on a Hill Press’s guide on the leading Democratic candidates’ views, policies and positions.

This week, read about the candidates’ plans for and approaches to health care. 

Candidates listed below qualified for the Dec. 19 debate and/or polled above 3 percent in RealClearPolitics’ Jan. 7 national average. 

Joe Biden, 77 

Polling: 29.3 percent 

Background: Former vice president under President Barack Obama

On Health Care: Biden wants to build on the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA). Biden’s plan is to preserve and strengthen provisions in the ACA — like protections for patients with preexisting conditions — and create a government-run health insurance plan that individuals can opt  into. 

Bernie Sanders, 78

Polling: 20.3 percent

Background: Senator from Vermont

On Health Care: Sanders’ Medicare for All plan would eliminate private health insurance and create a national, single-payer health insurance system. 

Elizabeth Warren, 70 

Polling: 14.8 percent

Background: Senator from Massachusetts

On Health Care: Warren argues for an incrementalist approach in adopting her health care plan. Her two-fold proposal would first allow individuals to opt into her Medicare for All plan and then move into a full Medicare for All rollout by the end of her first  term.

Pete Buttigieg, 37

Polling: 7.5 percent

Background: Mayor of South Bend, IN

On Health Care: Known for his “Medicare for All Who Want It” plan, Buttigieg wants to give people the option to keep their private health care plan or opt into a government-created public insurance option. His plan would automatically enroll qualified individuals for coverage.

Mike Bloomberg, 77

Polling: 5.8 percent

Background: Co-founder, CEO and holder of Bloomberg L.P.

On Health Care: A moderate, Bloomberg’s goal is to create a public option plan that would incrementally lead to universal  coverage. 

Andrew Yang, 44

Polling: 3.5 percent

Background: Entrepreneur, former CEO of Manhattan Prep

On Health Care: With the goal of universal coverage, Yang supports “the spirit of Medicare for All,” but does not believe in eliminating private insurance companies and has not released a public option proposal. Instead, Yang’s goal is to focus on lowering prescription drug prices and investing in technology like telehealth and education, among other points.

Amy Klobuchar, 59

Polling: 2.8 percent

Background: Senator from Minnesota

On Health Care: Klobuchar wants to expand healthcare coverage by building on the ACA and allowing for both public and private options. She notes that she will focus on lowering prescription drug prices and access to health care in rural areas, among other goals. 

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Karen Lowe is a city reporter at City on a Hill Press. Beginning her career as a fact-checker, she gained a passion for asking questions and getting stories right. She believes using facts is a key part in supplementing the human voice. Since her time as a fact-checker, she has worked as a campus reporter and editor—reading, talking and asking questions to uncover stories hidden in the community—social media editor and arts and culture reporter. You can view her work here or on her website at karenkayelowe.com . She can be contacted at klowe@cityonahillpress.com and followed on Twitter @karenkayelowe.