WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris on Friday clarified her position on private health insurance after a standout debate performance that her campaign said drew a surge of financial contributions.
Harris and her U.S. Senate colleague Bernie Sanders were the only two candidates to raise their hands during Thursday night’s second Democratic debate when asked, “Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan?”
However, Harris told reporters afterwards she was referring to her own personal choice and that she did not support eliminating private insurance completely.
“The question was would you give up YOUR private insurance for that option and I said yes,” the senator from California said in an interview with MSNBC on Friday.
“I am proponent of Medicare for All. Private insurance will exist for supplemental coverage,” she added.
Harris dominated her nine Democratic rivals on Thursday night’s debate stage, confronting front-runner Joe Biden on race and calling his remarks about working with segregationist senators hurtful.
Campaign spokeswoman Lily Adams said the debate marked the third-largest fundraising day of Harris’ campaign. “So we’re feeling very good, especially about the response that we’re seeing from the early states,” she told CNN.
Like the 10 candidates who debated on Wednesday night, the contenders on Thursday disagreed over the best way to boost access to healthcare insurance coverage. Asked who would back a plan that eliminated private insurance, only Sanders and Harris raised their hands.
On Wednesday night, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio were the only two candidates to raise their hand when asked if they would scrap private insurance.