South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg argued for expanding the Affordable Care Act rather than moving to Medicare for All, the government-backed health care program supported by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
“I don't understand why you believe the only way to deliver affordable coverage to everybody is to obliterate private plans, kicking 150 million Americans off of their insurance in four short years,” Buttigieg said.
A moment later, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar made a similar point, arguing that extending Obamacare was “what we should be doing instead of kicking 149 million people off their insurance in four years.”
FACTS FIRST: The figures cited by both Buttigieg and Klobuchar are close to the latest number provided by one study. Some 153 million people are covered by private plans sponsored by their employers, according to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation report. There are also tens of millions more who are covered by private plans through Medicare Advantage, Medicaid managed care plans and on the Obamacare individual market.
All these people would have to change their health care under Medicare for All — but they would be covered by the federal plan instead.