Kamala Harris: What physicians need to know about her health care policy

August 12, 2020
Keith A. Reynolds
Keith A. Reynolds

The California senator is Joe Biden’s pick for Vice President on the Democrat ticket.

With less than a week until the start of the Democratic National Convention, presidential candidate Joe Biden has picked former challenger and California senator Kamala Harris as his running mate.

Harris also sought the nomination for president this cycle but ended her campaign in December after failing to capture the attention of voters in a crowded field. While her personal campaign website has since been folded into Biden’s, through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine one can see the healthcare policy which she ran on.

Harris put much of her weight behind a Medicare for All plan which she co-sponsored along with Senator Bernie Sanders. After saying that private insurance should be abolished during a CNN townhall, Harris received a fair amount of blowback, especially from rival former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who blasted the proposal as too expensive, according to a report in The New York Times.

She was seen as waffling when she responded to this criticism by highlighting other bills she had supported as a alternatives to Medicare for All, which would have maintained some role for private insurers but still maintained that she believes healthcare should be a human right rather than a privilege, according to the Times.

According to a capture of her website from February, Harris also says she will fight to lower prescription drug costs and to prosecute opioid makers who have profited off of the overdose epidemic.

Harris also seeks to fight back against attacks against women’s health care, according to the site.

Since the start of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic Harris has been advocating for legislation which would protect vulnerable populations including seeking funding to protect incarcerated people during the pandemic, combatting maternal mortality and morbidity during the pandemic, and bolstering Medicaid coverage during the pandemic, according to her Senate website.