Biden healthcare plan draws contrast with White House rivals

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Almost 5 million Americans in states that haven't expanded Medicaid would get premium-free access to Biden's new public option, for instance.

The survey's seen a shift at the top from Quinnipiac's last poll in California - conducted in April before Biden entered the White House race.

Biden has been an outspoken opponent of Medicare for All, falsely claiming at an AARP event that it would destroy Medicare "as you know it" and claiming to The Hill, without evidence, that switching to Medicare for All could cause a one-to-three-year gap in coverage for cancer patients who rely on Obamacare. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in favor of something more moderate: building on the foundation of ObamaCare. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, aren't fairly representing the consequences of their proposals.

Biden's record in the Senate and as Barack Obama's vice president should speak for itself.

Beyond mainstream Democratic planks like allowing Medicare to negotiate for drug prices, his campaign detailed more aggressive proposals like enacting hard caps on prices for drugs manufactured by a single company.

To be fair, Biden has argued that it will be easier to expand ACA than to build a Medicare-for-all system from scratch. Biden is 76 years old, which would make him the oldest man to ever be elected president.

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Biden's plan would increase the value of tax credits received by people who use the plan, a move created to help them lower their premiums.

While Biden's lost ground, the survey indicates the former vice president remains the candidate with the best chance of beating Republican President Trump in November 2020 in the eyes of those likely to vote in California's Democratic primary. Since launching a second run for president in February, Sanders has mostly focused on his own pitch for transformational change.

Though Biden's battle with Sanders may seem to be over the legacy of Obamacare specifically, and of the Obama-Biden administration more generally, it is also a struggle for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party going forward. "In fact, Medicare for All would greatly improve the program for current beneficiaries".

But that's not the goal of most voters, who are more concerned about the cost of health care than the system itself, says Lanae Erickson, senior vice president of social policy and politics at the centrist think tank Third Way. She also said she doesn't see a middle-class tax hike needed to fund her proposal, and she'd instead eye more targeted new revenue sources such as going after Wall Street.

Sanders' campaign says he also will pledge to reject campaign donations from health insurance and pharmaceutical industry executives, lobbyists and political action committees and call on other Democratic presidential candidates to do the same. By any measure, it would be tremendously disruptive, and polls show that even if the idea of Medicare for All is popular, the elimination of private insurance is not. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet echoes Biden's argument with a call to "finish the work we started with Obamacare" and warned Sunday in Iowa that Sanders' nomination would doom the party in 2020.

"I think it is a beginning and the way you start and the way you move to universal health care", Klobuchar said in the first debate.

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