WASHINGTON/ST. GEORGE, S.C.—After launching his 2020 presidential bid last week, John Hickenlooper took a different stance on establishing a “Medicare-for-all” government health insurance program than many of his Democratic competitors.
“I probably would oppose Medicare-for-all just because there are over 150 million people, Americans who have some form of private insurance through their business, and the vast majority of them are happy with that,” the former Colorado governor said on MSNBC. He added he supported reaching universal health insurance coverage by another route.
In contrast, five of the U.S. senators seeking the Democratic presidential nomination—Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Bernie Sanders—back a Medicare-for-all bill that would replace the current mix of private and government coverage with a plan provided solely by the government.
The candidates’ positions highlight a divide in the growing field on one of the defining issues in the Democratic Party’s primary battle. While Democrats have long pushed for some type of universal healthcare, the Medicare-for-all proposal has met resistance from more centrist party members concerned about the hefty price tag and disrupting voters’ current coverage.