HOUSTON -- Former Vice President Joe Biden mocked "socialist" Bernie Sanders at Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate for having "confidence in corporate America" when it comes to his sweeping "Medicare-for-All" health care plan.
Right out of the gate Thursday, Biden challenged Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to specifically outline how they would pay for their health care plans that would replace the private insurance industry with a government plan covering everyone.
Biden said his plan would expand on the Affordable Care Act, which he championed as vice president during the Obama administration, and vowed to cut costs for families while welcoming all Americans who want the option to be automatically enrolled.
“If you notice, nobody’s yet said how much this is going to cost,” Biden said. “You have my friend from Vermont saying that the employer will give that money back to the employee.”
He added: “Let me tell you something, for a socialist, you’ve got a lot more confidence in corporate America than I do.”
Sanders went on to blast Biden, noting the urgency of helping cancer patients who are struggling financially.
Biden, whose son Beau died in 2015 of brain cancer, fired back.
“I know a lot about cancer. And let me tell you something. Every single person who is diagnosed with cancer, or any other disease will not go bankrupt because of that,” Biden said, defending his health care plan. “They can join immediately.”
Biden made his case to the voters, turning to the audience and saying: “I’ve been there. You’ve been there. People need help now. People need hope now and to do something now.”