Pete Buttigieg on Health Care
Democratic Presidential Challenger; IN Mayor
At the time, Buttigieg was the mayor of South Bend, and not yet a candidate for president. As a candidate, Buttigieg has proposed a more centrist health care proposal than some Democrats. He does not support the Medicare for All plan proposed by Sanders, which would expand Medicare and create a new universal, single-payer health care system in the United States. Rather, Buttigieg is proposing what he calls "Medicare for All Who Want It." It would essentially allow people to buy into Medicare through the Affordable Care Act exchanges.
BUTTIGIEG: This is a good example of where I don't believe that my interpretation of my religion ought to be imposed on anybody. That's a personal approach. I believe that we need to look at the laws of this country and examine how we can best support people confronting these decisions. There's no easy answers. But I believe nationally we need to assess whether knowing what we now know about pain, about the management of the end-of-life, whether we've got it right or whether there are more steps we can take to make sure that as people are in their last days that they are able to pass away in dignity and in as little pain as possible.
BUTTIGIEG: Well, it's making sure that there is no such thing as an uninsured American. Look, the individual mandate was an important part of the ACA because the system doesn't work if there are free riders. What I'm offering is a choice. You don't have to be in my plan if there's another plan that you would rather keep. And there's no need to kick Americans off the plans that they want in order to deliver health care for all. And my plan is paid for. Everything I've put forward--from "Medicare for all who want it" to the historic investments we're going to make in infrastructure to dealing with climate change--is fully paid for.
WARREN: The problem is that plans like the mayor's and like the vice president's is that they are an improvement. But they're a small improvement. And that's why it is that they cost so much less, because by themselves, they're not going to be enough to cover prescriptions for 36 million people who can't afford to get them filled. We can ask those at the very top, the top 1 percent, to pay a little more. When we do that, we have enough money to provide health care for all our people.
BUTTIGIEG: I propose Medicare for all who want it. But whether you're on that public plan or on a private plan, we require that everyone be treated with equity. That includes not just treatments for HIV, things that can be done to prevent the transmission of HIV. It's why we need a prescription drug plan like the one I'm putting forward that caps the amount that anybody would have to pay.
BUTTIGIEG: I think you can buy into it. That's the idea of Medicare for All Who Want It. Look, this is a distinction without a difference, whether you're paying the same money in the form of taxes or premiums. In this country, if you don't have health coverage, you're paying too much for care, and if you do have health coverage, you're paying too much for care.
But let's remember, even in countries that have socialized medicine there's still a private sector. It's just that for our primary care, we can't be relying on the tender mercies of the corporate system.
This one is very personal for me. I started out this year dealing with the terminal illness of my father. I make decisions for a living, and nothing could have prepared me for the kind of decisions our family faced. The thing we had going for us was that we never had to make those decisions based on whether it was going to bankrupt our family, because of Medicare. And I want every family to have that same freedom to do what is medically right, not live in financial fear.
BUTTIGIEG: Yeah. I believe that's part of health care. We provide health care to people who are incarcerated. The bigger issue is that too many people are incarcerated. We need to treat everybody the same, if you regard this as part of health care. People try to turn others against this around the issue of cost, but the spectacular costs of incarceration have very little to do with things like gender reassignment.
I just don't believe that leaving Americans to the tender mercies of corporations is the best way to organize the health sector in this country. The bottom line is most citizens in most developed countries, enjoy access to this kind of health care and Americans don't. It's wrong.
A: [@PeteButtigieg]: Buh? When/where have you ever heard me oppose Medicare for All?
Q: We never said that you opposed it, but where did you say that you support #SinglePayer?
A: I've been on the record on this one since 2004: [Article in The Harvard Crimson, 3/8/04]: "We could finally see a single-payer health care system that closes the gap between the US and other nations when it comes to medical treatment."
Q: You wrote that article 14 years ago as a student. I don't think you were a politician 14 years ago. Can you affirmatively say that we need #MedicareForAll now and that insurance does not belong in healthcare?
A: Gosh! Okay: I, Pete Buttigieg, politician, do henceforth and forthwith declare, most affirmatively and indubitably, unto the ages, that I do favor Medicare for All, as I do favor any measure that would help get all Americans covered.
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2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (L-NY,R-MA)
External Links about Pete Buttigieg:
2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)