Did Pete Buttigieg steal Joe Biden’s secret plan for revamping health-insurance coverage? Perhaps, but only after Biden stole it from his old boss. Buttigieg’s rise in polls after switching tone to a more moderate position — on health care and other issues — has clearly gotten under the former VP’s skin. In a presser on the No Malarkey bus, Biden lashed out at Mayor Pete, accusing him of, er … “plagiarizing” him:
Biden lamented media coverage that he said initially dismissed the durability of his candidacy because he was too moderate and didn‘t embrace policies like Medicare for All. Biden said the field was now moving closer to his views and away from the left. When asked whether he unintentionally set the stage for Buttigieg, who is leading in the polls in Iowa, Biden grew animated.
“Set it up? He stole it! Set it up?” Biden said of the mayor of South Bend, Ind.
When asked whether Buttigieg now had the enthusiasm and the moderate positioning, he again scoffed. “No, he doesn’t have the enthusiasm and the moderate — moderate plan. It’s the Biden plan.”
The Biden plan in this case is a rehash of Barack Obama’s original plan. At the heart of the dispute is the hoary “public option” contained within the original version of ObamaCare, but dropped after it became clear that it had no chance of surviving a vote even in a Congress dominated by Democrats. Biden now uses an opt-in for Medicare as a model for the public option, but a Trojan horse by any other name would smell just as pungent. Now, as then, the Medicare opt-in is designed to undercut private insurers with government-subsidized low prices on the exchanges, effectively setting up a back door to single-payer Medicare for All while sustaining massive losses.