2020 candidates Julian Castro and Joe Biden scuffled over the topic of health care during Thursday’s third Democratic primary debate in Houston.
Castro called out Biden for flipping scripts after Castro said his health care plan, unlike Biden’s, would not force people to buy in, to which Biden replied, “They do not have to buy in.”
“You just said that two minutes ago. You just said two minutes ago they would have to buy in,” Castro said.
“Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?” he asked the former vice president. “Are you forgetting already what you said just two minutes ago? I can’t believe that you said two minutes ago that they had to buy in, and now you’re saying they don’t have to buy in. You’re forgetting that.”
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Castro’s comments came after Biden discussed his relationship to former President Barack Obama, who signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, in 2010.
“I also worked for President Obama, Vice President Biden, and I know that the problem with your plan is that it leaves 10 million people uncovered,” said Castro, a former housing and urban development secretary. “Now, on the last debate stage in Detroit, you said that wasn’t true, and [California Democratic] Sen. [Kamala] Harris brought that up. There was a fact check of that. They said that was true.”
“You know, I grew up with a grandmother who Type 2 diabetes, and I watched her condition get worse and worse. But that whole time, she had Medicare. I want every single American family to have a strong Medicare plan available. If they choose to hold onto strong, solid private health insurance, I believe they should be able to do,” he continued.
“That but the differences between what I support and what you support, vice president Biden, is that you require them to opt in, and I would not require them to opt in. They would automatically be enrolled. … Barack Obama’s vision was not to leave 10 million people uncovered. He wanted every single person in this country covered. My plan would do that. Your plan would not,” he concluded.
The two continued to argue over whether people would have to opt in to their respective health care programs. The former vice president accidentally said his health care plan was “not quality” and would “increase premiums” on working-class people during a New Hampshire rally on Aug. 23.
Castro’s comments appeared to be a dig at Biden’s memory and susceptibility to gaffes.
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