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Buttigieg Claims Warren and Sanders’s Medicare for All Is ‘Infringing on Freedom’ in New Ad

Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at the Iowa Federation of Labor Convention in Altoona, Iowa, August 21, 2019. (Gage Skidmore)

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg released a campaign ad Monday evening taking aim at Medicare for All, the public health insurance proposal favored by several rival 2020 candidates, and proposing his alternative, “Medicare for All Who Want It.”

The South Bend, Ind., mayor’s minute-long video, titled “Makes More Sense,” features several political reporters and analysts praising his plan and juxtaposing it with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All, which would require that roughly 160 million Americans’ surrender their private insurance.

“Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren believe that we have to force ourselves into Medicare for All, where private insurance is abolished, there are 160 million Americans to get their insurance from their employer,” CNN analyst Joe Lockhart says in a clip included in the ad.

Buttigieg is “trying to focus on choice not infringing on people’s freedom to make that decision voluntarily,” NBC reporter Josh Lederman says in another segment.

“Medicare for All Who Want It is different than Medicare for All because this gives Americans a choice,” Buttigieg said in an additional video that was released concurrent with the ad and explains his proposal. “If you prefer a public plan like Medicare, like I think most Americans will, you can choose it. But if you prefer to keep your private insurance, you can.”

Medicare for All Who Want It will be a “public insurance alternative for everyone, no matter their income” with the goal of making health care “far more affordable,” according to the explanatory video.

Buttigieg also vowed to release a “policy series” over the next several months to diagnose problems in the country’s health care system, which is “too expensive, too complicated, and too frustrating.”

“I trust Americans to make our own decisions regarding the type of health care that makes the most sense for each of us and our families,” the mayor said.

Buttigieg’s ad comes hours before he is set to face off against Warren, Sanders, and other fellow contenders for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination during Tuesday night’s debate in Ohio hosted by CNN and the New York Times.

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