Where 2020 Democrats stand on
Medicare-for-all

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Supports some version of it

Supports some version of it

Not all have been specific about how far they’re willing to go in support of single-payer health care.

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker co-sponsored Sen. Bernie Sanders’s Medicare-for-all bill, but has said he wouldn’t do away with private health insurance. He has backed proposals to lower Medicare’s eligibility age to 50 and to create a Medicaid-based public health-care option on state insurance marketplaces.

March 11: “Medicare for All is the best way to ensure that every American has access to quality, affordable health care.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

In a CNN town hall, Buttigieg said the "best way" to move toward a Medicare-for-all system is to "take some flavor of Medicare, you make it available on the exchange as a kind of public option, and you invite people to buy into it."

Feb. 15: “That's why I believe we do need to move in the direction of a Medicare-for-all system.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro has said Medicare “should be there for everybody,” but has not backed a particular bill or specific Medicare-for-all proposal.

Dec. 13: “I believe that we need Medicare-for-all.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Bill de Blasio

Mayor, New York City

“Yes, I support moving America's health care system to a Medicare-for-all system,” de Blasio told The Post. “I believe healthcare is a human right and we must adopt a Medicare-for-all system to ensure that all Americans have access to high-quality health services no matter their means.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard co-sponsed the Medicare for All Act.

Feb. 2: “We have to fight to make sure that every single American gets the quality health care that they need through Medicare-for-all.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. senator, New York

A co-sponsor of Sanders’s 2017 bill, Gillibrand has also backed proposals to lower Medicare’s age of eligibility to 50 and to create a Medicaid-based public health-care option on state insurance marketplaces.

Jan. 13: “Passing Medicare for All ... so families would never again have to worry about affording a trip to the doctor or the prescriptions they need.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris sparked a debate when she said she’d be willing to end private health insurance. She co-sponsored Sanders’s bill in 2017 and has also backed proposals to lower Medicare’s age of eligibility to 50 and to create a Medicaid-based public health-care option on state insurance marketplaces.

Feb. 15: “We need Medicare-for-all to bring dignity to millions.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Wayne Messam

Mayor, Miramar, Fla.

“Medicare-for-all is one of the better ideas to help solve the problem,” Messam told The Post. He also said he would support the Medicare for America plan that maintains private insurance.

Candidate positions highlighted
Wayne Messam
Messam

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“We need to think big when it comes to making healthcare more accessible and affordable, which is why I am a long time supporter of Medicare for All,” Ryan told The Post. “But as we move towards that ultimate goal, we need to be realistic on how we get there. That is why I also support making modifications to the Affordable Care Act and adding public option that would allow Americans to buy into Medicare without eliminating private health insurance options until we as a country can implement Medicare for All in a way that will move our country forward." Ryan co-sponsored the Medicare for All Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

Thanks to his 2016 presidential run and 2017 proposal, Sanders’s Medicare-for-all has become one of the major litmus tests in the 2020 primary. He's running again, but this time many other candidates in the race support single-payer health care.

Feb. 19: “... the time is long overdue for the United States to join every other major country on Earth and guarantee health care to all people as a right ...”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren co-sponsored Sen. Bernie Sanders’s Medicare-for-all bill in 2017 but has kept details broad on the campaign trail. She said there are “different ways” to get to “affordable health care for every American.” She also signed onto a bill to create a Medicaid-based public health-care option on state insurance marketplaces.

Feb. 14: “... of course we can afford to invest in making sure every American has health care.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

Williamson says she will “support high-quality universal coverage for every American, including a Medicare for all model.”

Feb. 21: “We’ve been trained to expect too little, reduced to haggling for things that should be considered everyone’s right.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang said he wants to “move in the direction of a single-payer system” either through expanding Medicare to everyone or creating a new system.

Feb. 16: “We need to provide high-quality health care to all Americans and a single-payer system is the most efficient way to accomplish that. ”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Prefers something else

Prefers something else

Others have proposed different plans to reach universal coverage, such as providing a public option.

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

"When you tell people the first thing about Medicare for All — either that it takes insurance away from 180 million Americans that have it through their employer or the taxes we would have to pay to afford that $30 trillion program — that 70 percent support falls to the mid-30s,” Bennet told CNN. “I think we need to level with the American people.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“I understand the appeal of Medicare-for-all, but folks supporting it should be clear that it means getting rid of Obamacare, and I’m not for that,” Biden said in a video. His health plan backs “giving Americans a new choice, a public health insurance option like Medicare.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

Bullock told The Post that he prefers something other than Medicare-for-all.

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney supports universal health care but says Sen. Bernie Sanders’s Medicare-for-all bill is not the way. He has proposed his own system that leaves Medicare in place for people over 65 and creates a new public plan for people under 65.

Feb. 18: “I think we should have universal health care in this country but I don't think we should get there by making private insurance illegal.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

John Hickenlooper

Former governor, Colorado

Of Medicare-for-all, Hickenlooper said, "I reject the notion that it should become a litmus test of what it takes to be a good Democrat."

Feb. 14: “We are not going to stop until we get universal coverage.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Jay Inslee

Governor, Washington state

Inslee introduced a public option bill to offer a state-run health insurance plan.

Feb. 4: “Right now we need to embrace the things that we can have to move toward universal health coverage.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar prefers offering a Medicaid-type plan, embracing a bill to create a Medicaid-based public health-care option on state insurance marketplaces. She also signed onto a bill to lower the Medicare eligibilityage to 50.

Feb. 18: “It could be a possibility in the future. I'm just looking at something that will work now. ”

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Seth Moulton

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton prefers updating Medicare through a public option and competition with private insurers, he said in a Facebook post.

April 22: “... as a recipient of single-payer healthcare through the VA, which has a history of problems, I don’t believe we should force everyone to accept a one-size-fits-all government plan.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Seth Moulton
Moulton

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke supports Medicare for America, a campaign spokesman told The Post, adding that “it is the surest way to get to guaranteed, universal coverage while dramatically decreasing out-of-pocket-costs. Under his plan, everyone without care would be enrolled in Medicare and those with insufficient care could choose Medicare. Those with employer-sponsored insurance can opt for Medicare. He believes that people who have insurance that works for them should be able to keep it.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “I support coverage for all, i.e., Medicare for all who want it,” Swalwell told The Post. “This would serve as a public option for any American, operating alongside and competing with private insurance plans, in order to drive prices down for everyone. If you’re sick you should be seen, and if you’re seen you shouldn’t go broke.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

The major Democratic presidential contenders have been vocal about the need to expand health-care coverage for more Americans. But they are split on how, opening a key policy rift in the 2020 presidential campaign, particularly over the most ambitious of these plans: Medicare-for-all.

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Some Democrats have called for the United States to achieve Medicare-for-all through a single-payer system, in which all Americans would be enrolled automatically on a government plan. Other candidates have said that they believe Medicare-for-all is a good long-term goal, while stopping short of calling for a single-payer system. Others still believe in more modest measures to expand health insurance, believing Medicare-for-all could trigger a political backlash.

The debate over these plans — as well as their objective, details and impact on the health-care industry — is expected to play a major role animating the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

[The issues 2020 Democrats are running on, according to their social media]

What is Medicare-for-all?

Some versions would dramatically rethink how the nation’s insurance system works by replacing the current health insurance system with a single government-run system that provides insurance for all Americans.

Medicare-for-all would move the United States in the direction of a single-payer system, where the government steps in (rather than insurance companies) as the intermediary between patients and providers in health-care transactions.

SINGLE-PAYER PLAN

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For Americans who currently have private insurance through their employers, insurance companies are the intermediaries that pay providers (hospitals and doctors), and patients often cover a part of the cost with a co-pay.

HOW PRIVATE INSURANCE WORKS NOW

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HOW PRIVATE INSURANCE WORKS NOW

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HOW PRIVATE INSURANCE WORKS NOW

Pay premiums

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In some versions of Medicare-for-all, the government would use taxes to pay for most medical services, but would allow private insurance for elective procedures.

MODIFIED SINGLE-PAYER PLAN

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elective coverage

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procedures

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complementary insurers

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MODIFIED SINGLE-PAYER PLAN

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complementary insurers

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taxes

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treatment

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MODIFIED SINGLE-PAYER PLAN

Pay for elective coverage

Pay for procedures

Supplementary or

complementary insurers

Pay taxes

Pays for treatment

Government

Patients

Providers

MODIFIED SINGLE-PAYER PLAN

Pay for elective coverage

Pay for procedures

Supplementary or

complementary insurers

Pay taxes

Pays for treatment

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Patients

Providers

MODIFIED SINGLE-PAYER PLAN

Pay for elective coverage

Pay for procedures

Supplementary or

complementary insurers

Pays for treatment

Pay taxes

Government

Patients

Providers

Many suggestions fit somewhere between the existing health system and a nationalized health-care program. Some candidates have embraced bills that would take more incremental steps toward universal coverage, like lowering the age of eligibility for Medicare, or a Medicaid-type plan that would allow states to sell government-backed Medicaid plans on individual insurance marketplaces.

Where the candidates stand

Here’s where 2020 candidates stand on Medicare-for-all and other health-care issues, based on candidate statements, voting records and answers to a questionnaire we sent every campaign.

Question 2 of 8

Essentially get rid of it

Essentially get rid of it

Bill de Blasio

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio raised his hand when asked whether he would get rid of private coverage in favor of a government-run plan during the first Democratic debate.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“Yes, we should essentially eliminate private health insurance,” Sanders told The Post. “Private insurance as it exists today is nothing more than a confusing morass designed to make people jump through hoops before they can actually get the care they need.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren raised her hand when asked whether she would get rid of private coverage in favor of a government-run plan during the first Democratic debate.

June 26: “Yes, I would support government-run insurance. Health care is a basic human right, and we fight for basic human rights. We need #MedicareForAll.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

It can stay, for now

It can stay, for now

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

The Buttigieg campaign told The Post private insurance can stay for now. “I don’t see why it requires that,” Buttigieg told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos when asked if Medicare-for-all means ending private insurance.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. senator, New York

Believes a Medicare-for-all system will eventually displace the private insurance industry. In a February interview on “Lovett or Leave It,” when asked if ending private insurance should be a goal for the party, Gillibrand said it “is a goal, and an urgent goal.” She said as the nation moves toward a Medicare-for-all system, “what’s going to happen is you’re going to create enormous competition and I don’t think for-profit providers are going to be able to compete … Through competition you will get to single payer.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Marianne Williamson

Author

“I’m open to the idea of supplemental insurance programs for additional health-care benefits for those who want it,” Williamson told The Post. “However, I want high-quality Medicare for All coverage for all Americans, to the point where supplemental coverage shouldn’t be a requirement.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“I believe that private health insurance should be allowed to continue to serve those who want to opt out of the public option,” Yang told The Post. “However, I expect the public option to be able to out-compete the private options and that most private options would disappear over time.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

We don’t need to get rid of it

We don’t need to get rid of it

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“Now, what Democrats are saying is, 'If you like your insurance, we're going to take it away from you,' from 180 million people that get their insurance from their employer and like it or 20 million Americans who are on Medicare Advantage, and love it," Bennet said on NBC's Meet the Press. "That seems like a bad opening offer for me."

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

Biden’s health-care plan said he plans to improve the Affordable Care Act “instead of starting from scratch and getting rid of private insurance.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

When asked by a reporter if he would get rid of private health care, Booker said: “Even countries that have vast access to publicly offered health care still have private health care, so no.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“Nearly 170 million Americans have private insurance through their employers,” Bullock told The Post. “We can do a lot to increase access and lower costs without eliminating a system that’s working for a lot of people. We have to move forward in a way that doesn’t undermine the personal health insurance of whichmany Americans have come to depend.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

During a campaign event in Des Moines, Castro said he supports Medicare-for-all but wants people to have the option for supplemental private insurance, the Des Moines Register reported.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“I think eliminating private insurance would ultimately be bad for patients and bad for the quality of our health-care system overall,” Delaney told The Post. “My universal health-care plan guarantees all Americans coverage, but also allows people to purchase supplemental plans.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“Medicare-for-all would provide quality health care for every single American, at a cheaper price to every one of us,” Gabbard said in an interview on ABC’s “The View.” “If folks want to get their own private insurance at the same time, they’re free to do that.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

John Hickenlooper

Former governor, Colorado

“I probably would oppose Medicare-for-all just because there are over 150 million people, Americans who have some form of private insurance through their business, and the vast majority of them are happy with that," Hickenlooper said on MSNBC.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Jay Inslee

Governor, Washington state

"I don't think it's necessary," Inslee told CNN when asked about eliminating private insurance.

Candidate positions highlighted
Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar prefers offering a Medicaid-type plan, embracing a bill to create a Medicaid-based public health-care option on state insurance marketplaces.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Wayne Messam

Mayor, Miramar, Fla.

Messam told The Post that he was “intrigued” by the Medicare for America bill that would allow people to maintain their private insurance if they wanted to.

Candidate positions highlighted
Wayne Messam
Messam

Seth Moulton

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

“I want Medicare, or better, a more modern version of Medicare, to be available to everybody. But I’m not going to force you off your private health if you like it,” Moulton told Good Morning America.

Candidate positions highlighted
Seth Moulton
Moulton

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

During a visit to Iowa, he said he supports the Medicare for America bill from Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.). “What it does, it responds to the fact that so many Americans have said, ‘I like my employer-based insurance. I want to keep it,’” he said. “It complements what already exists with the need that we have for millions of Americans who do not have insurance and ensures that each of them can enroll in Medicare.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“I personally don’t believe we need to take people off their private health insurance if they enjoy it,” Ryan told CNN.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “Americans should have a choice between coverage provided by private companies and that provided by the government,” Swalwell told The Post. “While I do not want to bring an end to private insurance, I support coverage for all, which would be a public option that would drive down the pressure on the private insurers and ultimately lead to more affordable plans for all Americans.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris said during a CNN town hall that she would support cutting private insurers. “Let’s eliminate all that, let’s move on,” she said. Her campaign advisers have also pointed out she would support more moderate plans that would let private insurers stick around. Harris raised her hand during the Democratic debate when asked if they would outlaw private health insurance, but she later said she misheard the question and does not support abolishing private health insurance. She did not provide The Post an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

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Background Some current Medicare-for-all proposals, including those from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) virtually eliminate private insurance by providing basic coverage for prescriptions, medical, vision, dental and mental health care. Private insurance would exist only for supplemental care outside of these basic provisions.

Question 3 of 8

Yes

Yes, supports a public option

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet and Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.) introduced the Medicare-X Choice Act to create a public option for health insurance. "In rural communities, limited competition is leaving many Coloradans with fewer choices, and, in some cases, only one high-cost option" Bennet said. "Medicare-X is a plan that begins to fix this problem by giving families and individuals a meaningful and affordable alternative."

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“Whether you’re covered through your employer or on your own or not, you should have the choice to buy into a public option plan for Medicare — your choice,” Biden said at a campaign event. “If the insurance company isn’t doing right by you, you should have another choice,” his health-care plan said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker is a co-sponsor of Schatz's State Public Option Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“Yes. I believe that we can increase access and affordability by providing a public option for Americans who want to buy into government insurance, which will also ensure competition in the private market,” Bullock told The Post. “In Montana, we expanded Medicaid and brought coverage to 100,000 people, worked to lower prescription drug costs, and implemented a plan for high risk pools that lowered health care costs for others by 8 to 9%. I can bring that kind of success to the national level.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

The Buttigieg campaign told The Post he supports creating a public option for people to buy into Medicaid regardless of income.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro supports creating a public option to expand health care, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“A key component of my universal health-care plan is that everyone is guaranteed coverage, but that we preserve choice and competition in the system,” Delaney told The Post. “There’s certainly some overlap between my approach and various public option bills.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Bill de Blasio

Mayor, New York City

“I support the State Public Option Act,” de Blasio told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

"All Americans should have access to affordable healthcare through Medicare or a public option," Gabbard's campaign website said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand is a co-sponsor of Schatz's State Public Option Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris is a co-sponsor of Schatz's State Public Option Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

John Hickenlooper

Former governor, Colorado

"As President, [Hickenlooper] is committed to ensure universal coverage by enabling people to buy into a public option such as Medicare," his campaign told The Post. "And would enhance that option to ensure people have a 'medical home' — a place they can turn to consistently for their health needs, with an emphasis on preventive and mental health care."

Candidate positions highlighted
John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Jay Inslee

Governor, Washington state

Inslee, who recently introduced a public option bill in his state, told CNN that health care should move toward universal coverage "like a public option."

Candidate positions highlighted
Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar is a co-sponsor of Schatz's State Public Option Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Wayne Messam

Mayor, Miramar, Fla.

“My first choice is to have a comprehensive health-care plan to provide affordable health care to most Americans,” Messam told The Post. “Anything that falls short of that goal is not the type of change big enough to solve the problem. I believe health care is a civil right, and rights shouldn’t get parceled out piecemeal.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Wayne Messam
Messam

Seth Moulton

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

“Let’s strengthen the Affordable Care Act by introducing a modern public option, like an updated Medicare (which was designed in 1963), and let it compete with private plans to offer the best care at the lowest price to consumers,” Moulton said in a Facebook post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Seth Moulton
Moulton

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke supports creating a public option to expand health care, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“There are ways to strengthen Obamacare, such as adding a public option, increasing subsidies to make coverage more affordable or lowering the age eligibility for Medicare,” Ryan said in a Facebook post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“I think that until we manage to pass Medicare-for-all, we should be giving states the tools they need to provide affordable, comprehensive coverage to their residents,” Sanders told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “I support coverage for all, i.e., Medicare for all who want it,” Swalwell told The Post. “This would serve as a public option for any American, operating alongside and competing with private insurance plans, in order to drive prices down for everyone. If you’re sick you should be seen, and if you’re seen you shouldn’t go broke.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren is a co-sponsor of Schatz's State Public Option Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“I’m not opposed to that plan, but because Medicaid is not as comprehensive as Medicare, I’m putting my effort into Medicare-for-all,” Williamson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“I agree with the goal of expanding health coverage provided by the government to more people,” Yang told The Post. “While I personally support the expansion of Medicare to cover all Americans, I’d be happy to work with anyone who is trying to achieve the same end goal -- getting health-care costs off of the backs of American businesses and citizens.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

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Background As it exists now, state Medicaid programs are public health insurance programs for low-income individuals. In our questionnaire, we asked campaigns about a proposal from Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) that would expand Medicaid by authorizing states to offer a buy-in option to anyone who wants the coverage, not just low-income people. Other candidates have also expressed support for creating a public option, such as a Medicare buy-in.

A January 2019 poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found 75 percent of the public favors allowing people who don’t get insurance at work to buy insurance through a state Medicaid program.

Question 4 of 8

Yes

Yes, they should be covered

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“Undocumented immigrants should have the option of purchasing health insurance on the exchange,” Bennet told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“You cannot let people who are sick, no matter where they come from, no matter what their status, go uncovered,” Biden said during the first Democratic debate. He raised his hand when when asked whether his government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

"We need to make our health-care system more effective by passing Medicare-for-all, and we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform that creates a pathway to citizenship for those already living in the United States," Booker told the Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“Undocumented immigrants should be able to buy coverage through the public option,” a Buttigieg campaign spokesman told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro supports covering undocumented immigrants, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Bill de Blasio

Mayor, New York City

In January 2019, de Blasio announced an “NYC Care” plan to guarantee insurance to the city's undocumented immigrants.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand co-sponsored Sanders’ Medicare-for-all proposal, which would cover undocumented immigrants.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris co-sponsored Sanders’ Medicare-for-all proposal, which would cover undocumented immigrants.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Seth Moulton

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

“Under current law hospitals in the US cannot refuse to treat patients who need care. This means that when an undocumented immigrant gets care they often do so in the emergency department. Hospitals are the highest cost providers and the bills are often too high for immigrants to afford,” Moulton told The Post. “In this way we already pay for health care for undocumented immigrants. My plan would be a public option. By opening it up to undocumented immigrants to purchase, more folks will be covered, the risk pool will be younger and healthier, and fewer hospital bills will go unpaid.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Seth Moulton
Moulton

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

Sanders told The Post, "My plan would cover all U.S. residents."

6/21/2019: “If you are a human being, regardless of your immigration status, you have a right to health care.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “I support coverage for all,” Swalwell told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren co-sponsored Sanders’ Medicare-for-all proposal, which would cover undocumented immigrants.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

Williamson told The Post, "Yes" when asked.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Yes, with caveat

Yes, with caveat

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

"Undocumented immigrants who register for the path to citizenship would be eligible to participate in the health plan at some additional cost to them," Yang told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

No

No, they should not be covered

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“Comprehensive immigration reform that protects our borders, helps the Dreamers who have known no other home than ours, and provides legal status and a path to citizenship for immigrants who have been part of the fabric of our country for many years is the best way to address health coverage for people who want to become American citizens,” Bullock told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“I support comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. My universal health care plan would cover tax paying legal permanent residents,” Delaney told the Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Wayne Messam

Mayor, Miramar, Fla.

“This problem needs to be addressed, but the proper place is with immigration reform, not health-care reform,” Messam told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Wayne Messam
Messam

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

Ryan does not support covering undocumented immigrants, his campaign told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

While Rep. Gabbard is a co-sponsor of Jayapal’s Medicare for All legislation which would do just this, she does not have a specific position on this issue at this time, she told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

John Hickenlooper

Former governor, Colorado

“No, not necessarily under a government-run health plan,” Hickenlooper told The Post on June 19. “I would support a public/private sector approach to achieve this goal as it relates to undocumented residents, including continued federal partnership with states that provide coverage for low-income children and prenatal care regardless of status, and enabling undocumented immigrants to have access to state health exchanges. Ultimately, the solution is comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.” But when asked whose plans would provide coverage for undocumented immigrations during the first Democratic debate, Hickenlooper raised his hand. He has not responded to a request for clarification.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Jay Inslee

Governor, Washington state

Inslee did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Hover for more information

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Background Some single-payer health-care plans call for the federal government to fund the health insurance of the approximately 11 million undocumented people living in the United States.

Question 5 of 8

Yes

Yes, supports

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet supports this proposal, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

Biden’s health-care plan includes a public option “like Medicare” that appears to include all Americans, regardless of age.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker is a co-sponsor of Stabenow's Medicare at 50 Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“I support a public option allowing people to buy into Medicare,” Bullock told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg supports allowing people ages 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro supports allowing people ages 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“My preference would be to leave Medicare alone and have people in the 50-64 range covered by my universal health-care plan,” Delaney told The Post. “Having said that, allowing people over 50 to buy into Medicare as part of improving the Affordable Care Act is a good idea.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Bill de Blasio

Mayor, New York City

“I support lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 50,” de Blasio told The Post. “I would ensure during the transition to a Medicare-for-All structure we provide those over 50 with the opportunity to buy-into Medicare or if we are unable to accomplish a Medicare-for-All structure I support it as a way to build upon the Affordable Care Act to lower health care costs for millions of Americans. ”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard supports allowing people ages 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare, her campaign told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand is a co-sponsor of Stabenow's Medicare at 50 Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris is a co-sponsor of Stabenow's Medicare at 50 Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

John Hickenlooper

Former governor, Colorado

“Yes, everyone should be able to buy into a public option regardless of age,” Hickenlooper told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Jay Inslee

Governor, Washington state

Inslee supports allowing people ages 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare, she told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar is a co-sponsor of Stabenow's Medicare at 50 Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Wayne Messam

Mayor, Miramar, Fla.

“My first choice is to have a comprehensive health-care plan to provide affordable health care to most Americans,” Messam told The Post. “Anything that falls short of that goal is not the type of change big enough to solve the problem. I believe health care is a civil right, and rights shouldn’t get parceled out piecemeal.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Wayne Messam
Messam

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke supports allowing people ages 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“There are ways to strengthen Obamacare, such as adding a public option, increasing subsidies to make coverage more affordable or lowering the age eligibility for Medicare,” Ryan said in a Facebook post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“My Medicare-for-all Act has a four-year transition. Year One involves lowering the Medicare age and improving Medicare benefits, including adding coverage for dental, vision and hearing aids,” Sanders told The Post. “So while I support getting more people onto Medicare, I believe it should be a first step towards further health reform.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “I support coverage for all, i.e., Medicare for all who want it. This would serve as a public option for any American,” Swalwell told The Post. He co-sponsored the Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017, which would establish a Medicare buy-in option for people ages 50 to 64.

Candidate positions highlighted
Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren supports allowing people ages 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare, her campaign told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“I’m not opposed to Senator Stabenow’s approach, but I find it not to be comprehensive enough, so I’m putting my effort into more ambitious, holistic approaches,” Williamson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“I agree with the goal of expanding Medicare to be available to and cover more individuals, with the eventual goal of providing a competitive option to all Americans,” Yang told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Seth Moulton

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Seth Moulton
Moulton

Hover for more information

Tap for more information

Background Some lawmakers have proposed taking incremental steps to expanding health coverage by lowering the eligibility age and giving more people the option of buying into Medicare, the federal health insurance program for seniors – essentially, offering “Medicare-for-more.” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) introduced the Medicare at 50 Act in February, legislation that was co-sponsored by a number of the Democratic contenders.

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll from January 2019, 77 percent of the public favors allowing people ages 50 to 64 to buy insurance through Medicare.

Question 6 of 8

Yes

Yes, supports

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet's "campaign website touts his 'Medicare X' health care plan, saying it "empowers the federal government to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for the first time, bringing down costs for tens of millions of Americans." He co-sponsored the Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“Because Medicare covers so many Americans, it has significant leverage to negotiate lower prices for its beneficiaries. And it does so for hospitals and other providers participating in the program, but not drug manufacturers. Drug manufacturers not facing any competition, therefore, can charge whatever price they choose to set. There’s no justification for this except the power of prescription drug lobbying,” Biden’s health-care plan said. “The Biden Plan will repeal the existing law explicitly barring Medicare from negotiating lower prices with drug corporations.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker is a Senate co-sponsor of the Affordable Medications Act. He is also a co-sponsor of Sanders’s latest Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“Rising prescription drug costs have been a major factor in making health care unaffordable for many Americans,” Bullock told The Post. “The federal government should step in to negotiate lower costs for all of us.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg supports giving the government the ability to negotiate drug prices for Medicare, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro supports giving the government the ability to negotiate drug prices for Medicare, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

"Yes. 100%," Delaney told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Bill de Blasio

Mayor, New York City

“The federal government caving into big pharma by not allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices is costing America's seniors billions of dollars per year,” de Blasio told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard is a co-sponsor of the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand is a Senate co-sponsor of the Affordable Medications Act. She is also a co-sponsor of Sanders’s latest Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

She has co-sponsored Sanders’s latest Medicare negotiation bill.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

John Hickenlooper

Former governor, Colorado

Hickenlooper supports giving the government the ability to negotiate drug prices for Medicare, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Jay Inslee

Governor, Washington state

Inslee supports giving the government the ability to negotiate drug prices for Medicare, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar is a co-sponsor of the Affordable Medications Act. In January, she introduced the Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Wayne Messam

Mayor, Miramar, Fla.

Messam supports giving the government the ability to negotiate drug prices for Medicare, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Wayne Messam
Messam

Seth Moulton

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

“Yes. As someone who benefits from negotiated drug prices at the VA, I face lower prices for my prescriptions. If it works for our veterans it should work for all Americans,” Moulton told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Seth Moulton
Moulton

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

As a Texas congressman, he co-sponsored the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“Drug prices are out of control. We need to rein in Big Pharma's price gouging tactics and allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices,” Ryan said in a Facebook post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

In January, he introduced the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act. He is also a co-sponsor of the Affordable Medications Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “I will do anything that is safe for patients — from negotiating prices to better enforcement of antitrust laws — to make prescription drugs more affordable, because prices are simply too high now for too many Americans,” Swalwell told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren is a co-sponsor of the Affordable Medications Act. She is also a co-sponsor of Sanders’s latest Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

"Yes," Williamson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“Absolutely,” Yang told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

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Background By law, the federal government is not allowed to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for seniors on Medicare, but lawmakers have pushed for legislation to give federal officials that ability, such as the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act in the House and the Affordable Medications Act in the Senate.

A February 2019 poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found 86 percent of the public favors allowing the government to negotiate with drug companies to lower drug costs under Medicare.

Question 7 of 8

Yes

Yes, supports

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“To create more competition for U.S. drug corporations, the Biden Plan will allow consumers to import prescription drugs from other countries, as long as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has certified that those drugs are safe,” Biden's health-care plan said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker is a co-sponsor of Sanders’s 2019 Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg supports importing drugs from other countries, but “such importation must be done in a way that ensures safety and quality,” a campaign spokesman told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro supports importing drugs from other countries, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“We need to establish regulations to ensure safety, but I would support allowing imports from other nations like Canada, yes,” Delaney told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Bill de Blasio

Mayor, New York City

“Allowing prescription drugs to be purchased and imported will lower drug prescription drug costs,” de Blasio told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

She has co-sponsored a drug importation bill, an identical version to Sanders’s bill, introduced in the House in January.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand supports importing generic drugs. She is a co-sponsor of Sanders’s 2019 Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris is a co-sponsor of Sanders’s 2019 Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Jay Inslee

Governor, Washington state

Inslee supports importing drugs from other countries, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar is a co-sponsor of Sanders’s 2019 Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Wayne Messam

Mayor, Miramar, Fla.

Messam told The Post that he supports importing drugs from other countries, “as long as those countries have standards similar to our FDA, as safety is paramount.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Wayne Messam
Messam

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke supports importing drugs from other countries, according to his campaign.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

Ryan supports importing drugs from other countries, his campaign told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“Yes. My Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act with Rep. Elijah Cummings would allow Americans, wholesalers, and licensed U.S. pharmacies to import prescription drugs from Canada and other countries,” Sanders told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “I support importing drugs if they meet safety standards and the manufacturers can be held liable,” Swalwell told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren told The Post she supports various drug pricing proposals, including the “importation of prescription drugs from other countries.” She is a co-sponsor of Sanders’s 2019 Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“I would consider doing so if American companies were not able to provide drugs at fair prices to the American people,” Yang told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

On a case-by-case basis

On a case-by-case basis

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“To lower drug costs, we should require the federal government to negotiate lower prices, just as other countries have done to reduce the costs of prescription drugs,” Bennet told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

"Rather than focusing on importing drugs from other countries, we need to get our pharmaceutical companies to charge Americans less for vital medicines. If these efforts are unsuccessful, moving toward a safe drug reimportation program would remain an option," Bullock told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

John Hickenlooper

Former governor, Colorado

Hickenlooper supports importing drugs from other countries on a case-by-case basis, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Marianne Williamson

Author

“I would like American workers, and American companies to receive their fair share of health care expenditures. However, when dramatic savings can be found by exploring options from other countries, I understand the benefit of exploring those options on a case-by-case basis,” Williamson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Seth Moulton

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Seth Moulton
Moulton

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Background Some lawmakers have proposed allowing Americans to purchase medications from other countries as a way to lower consumer costs.

A February 2019 tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found 80 percent of the public favors allowing Americans to buy imported drugs from Canada.

Question 8 of 8

Yes

Yes, supports

Bill de Blasio

Mayor, New York City

“The United States should be incentivizing the manufacturing and use of generic drugs, as a part of our overall strategy to increase the drug supply and lower prescription drug costs,” de Blasio told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard supports having the federal government produce and sell generic drugs to lower drug prices, her campaign told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Wayne Messam

Mayor, Miramar, Fla.

Messam told The Post that this proposal “will increase competition for drug manufacturers and lower the cost for consumers.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Wayne Messam
Messam

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“Yes. The federal government must use every tool available to drastically lower drug prices for Americans,” Sanders told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “On government-produced drugs, we should have the flexibility in emergencies to do so,” Swalwell told The Post. “For example, insulin is at near-emergency levels of cost and access, with prices skyrocketing and more and more patients suffering ill effects from trying to use less of it. Government should have agility to address this.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren introduced legislation that would have the government start manufacturing cheap generic drugs if prescription drug prices rise too high.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

Williamson told The Post she supported this legislation.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang told The Post he supported this legislation.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

No

No, does not support

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“In addition to requiring the federal government to negotiate lower prices, our focus should be on addressing abuses of the patent system,” Bennet told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“No. Instead I will work to lower drug prices and ensure significant penalties of drugmakers who engage in profiteering,” Bullock told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg doesn’t support having the government produce or sell generics, his campaign told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney told The Post, “I don’t think that’s the right answer for drug prices.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

John Hickenlooper

Former governor, Colorado

“No, but the government should mandate lower prices for drugs that were developed with public funds,” Hickenlooper told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

Ryan doesn’t support having the government produce or sell generics, his campaign told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Joe Biden

Former vice president

Biden’s health-care plan did not say he supports federal drug manufacturing, but it did include a proposal to give drug samples to private generic drug manufacturers. Biden did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Jay Inslee

Governor, Washington state

Inslee did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Seth Moulton

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Seth Moulton
Moulton

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Hover for more information

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Background Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) have introduced legislation that, if passed, would have the government manufacture cheap generic drugs if prescription drug costs rise too high.

How we compiled candidate positions

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic campaign asking whether they support various health-care policies. We organized candidates with similar stances into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town halls and other news reports. See something that we missed? Let us know.

The page will update to reflect candidates’ positions as they become more clear. We expect candidates to develop more detailed policy positions throughout the campaign, and this page will update as we learn more about their plans. We will also note if candidates change their position on an issue. At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president or an exploratory committee by March 13. The Post will reach out to additional candidates as they enter the race and then include them here.

Recent changes on this page

July 15 Added Biden's positions from his health-care proposal.

July 8 Swalwell dropped out of presidential race.

July 2 Added de Blasio’s and Warren’s positions on private insurance based their answers during the first Democratic debate. Added Biden’s and adjusted Hickenlooper’s stances on coverage of undocumented immigrants based on their answers during the debate.

June 21 Added Warren's position on allowing people ages 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare based on a response from her campaign.

June 20 Added Bullock and de Blasio’s positions based on surveys returned from their campaigns. Added several positions for Castro, Gabbard, Hickenlooper and Inslee based on response from the campaigns.

June 17 Added Bennet's positions based on a survey returned from his campaign.

June 11 Included two additional stances for Moulton and made two changes for Buttigieg, following guidance from their campaigns.

May 16 Added stances for four recent entrants (Bennet, Biden, Moulton and Ryan) based on public statements, legislative records and some campaign input.

May 6 Added Castro’s position on covering undocumented immigrants.

May 6 Added Swalwell positions based on survey returned from his campaign.

April 9 Added Messam positions based on survey returned from his campaign.

April 3 Added O'Rourke positions based on survey returned from his campaign.

March 15 Added polling data from Kaiser Family Foundation.

March 14 Updated with additional information on Buttigieg positions from his campaign.

March 14 Page published.

Kevin Schaul

Kevin Schaul is a senior graphics editor for The Washington Post. He covers national politics and public policy using data and visuals.

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is a policy reporter for The Washington Post. He was a crime reporter for the Syracuse Post-Standard and, in 2014, founded the local news nonprofit the Ithaca Voice in Upstate New York. He was also a reporter for Vox.

Kevin Uhrmacher

Kevin Uhrmacher is a graphics editor for politics at The Washington Post. His work includes mapping trends in election results, analyzing data about President Trump’s political appointees and explaining the impact of congressional policies. He joined The Post in 2014 as a news designer.

Paulina Firozi

Paulina Firozi is a researcher helping to produce and write The Health 202 and The Energy 202. Before joining The Post in 2017, she was a social media curator at The Hill and previously interned for NPR Politics, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and with The Post's local desk.

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