Biden Says Buttigieg ‘Stole’ His Healthcare Plan

Mike Segar/Reuters

U.S. Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden said on Monday that his fast-rising rival Pete Buttigieg “stole” the former vice president’s healthcare policy proposals, as the two battle for support in the early nominating state of Iowa.

Biden, among the leaders in the 16-member Democratic field for the right to take on Republican President Donald Trump in next year’s election, is proposing expanding the Affordable Care Act.

Popularly known as Obamacare, the healthcare law was the signature domestic policy achievement of former Democratic President Barack Obama, whom Biden served as No. 2.

Biden would add a “public option,” allowing individuals to opt into a government plan but preserving the existing role for private insurers.

Like Biden, Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, favors the public option and coined the phrase “Medicare for all who want it” to describe the concept.

“He stole it,” Biden told reporters on his campaign bus in Iowa. Biden said he would have been criticized if he had copied someone else’s health plan.

“What would you have done to me? You’d have torn my ears off,” he said.

A spokesman for Buttigieg’s campaign declined to comment but pointed to statements by Buttigieg about “Medicare for all who want it” that pre-date Biden’s current presidential campaign.

Biden was in Iowa for eight straight days of campaigning to thwart a slide in public opinion polls that has benefited Buttigieg, who leaped into first place in some recent surveys there. The Iowa caucus on Feb. 3 will be Democrats’ first nominating contest.

Polls show U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are also in the running in Iowa. Both are pushing for a government-backed Medicare for All system that would provide federal health insurance coverage for all Americans based on the government-run Medicare program for Americans 65 and older.

Biden, who still enjoys a lead among Democrats in national polls, has largely avoided attacking Buttigieg.

Asked about the mayor by reporters on Sunday, Biden said: “Anything I say about Pete will be taken as being a criticism or a negative about Pete, and I don’t have any negative feelings about Pete at all. I think he’s a talented guy.”

Buttigieg is expected back in Iowa to campaign on Friday.

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Peter Cooney & Kim Coghill)

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General Confusion


This thread explains what Buttigieg won’t even talk about.



WHY would you even consider voting for Mayor Pete for POTUS when he can't give an appearance of running his own TOWN of South Bend, IN? Creepy quid pro quo Joe isn't any better since he was nothing but a lap dog being carried around in #44's stroller and a walking advertisement for dementia and looney tunes.

General Confusion

“Given a choice between the twoi view Pete as the lesser of “two evils”.” Morte206 I am confused now. In what way is Mr “I will be whatever you want me to be” the LESSER of two evils? He has no real plans or policies nor has a real political philosophy, so he stands for nothing. He tries to be all things to all people instead of having attractive policies that earn him support. He panders to progressives but isn’t one. He is getting a huge amount of free media support, no criticism at all from anyone because he is… Read more »


Why is anyone surprised? He agreed with the ignoramus William Barber – just because he wears a cross and puts Reverend before his name doesn’t mean he knows what he is talking about.

General Confusion

Phyllis: if you don’t want an imbalanced Supreme court for the rest of your life, then don’t support Biden.

General Confusion

“Biden is attempting to defeat Trumpism–NOT promising to keep it going.” Phylis This is one of the times when you are wrong. 100% completely wrong. If Biden is the Democratic presidential nominee, that will pretty much guarantee that King Donald The Loser will get a second term. Voters NEED change and Biden represents and HAS PROMISED no change. What makes you think that rerunning a flawed and weak corporatist nominee with narrow support (voters over 50) against a populist in 2020 will result in anything different than what we got in 2016? Kamala Harris is gone early, so there is… Read more »

General Confusion

Once again showing that reading comprehension is not your forte what part of “for no other reason” don’t you get?” Morte206

Because, in Mayor Pete’s case, fresh blood isn’t reason enough to make it worth supporting him. He isn’t really “fresh blood”. He is the same-old same-old that got us where we are today. There is nothing fresh about that.

So there is no reason behind your reasoning, Morte206.

General Confusion

“If for no other reason than “fresh blood” Pete would have my vote over Joe damn near any day.” Morte206

Why? I am confused.

Mayor Pete has the same tired and ineffective so-called moderate, even conservative, policies of either incremental change or no change that Biden has. That isn’t what we need at this time. We need fundamental rip’em up change that Sanders offers, to get us out of this 4 decades worth deep hole. We have been incrementalized to death.

I know that isn’t how you two think, but it IS what we need.





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