News Release

During Pandemic, Biden Lies About Healthcare


cnn mediaBiden claimed at last night’s debate: “With all due respect to Medicare for All, you have a single-payer system in Italy. It doesn’t work there. It has nothing to do with Medicare for All. That would not solve the problem at all.” Sanders responded: “What the experts tell us, is that one of the reasons that we are unprepared and have been unprepared is we don’t have a system. We’ve got thousands of private insurance plans. That is not a system that is prepared to provide healthcare to all people.”

Biden claimed: “The national crisis says we’re responding. It’s all free. You don’t have to pay for a thing. That has nothing to do with whether or not you have an insurance policy. This is a crisis. We’re at war with the virus. We’re at war with the virus. It has nothing to do with copays or anything.”

DAVID HIMMELSTEIN, M.D., himmelhandler at
Himmelstein is a distinguished professor of public health at the City University of New York at Hunter College. He said today: “Biden lied about coverage, and also distorted the Italian situation. Italians will not face medical bills, or be reticent to seek care for fear of costs. The problem in Italy is a huge number of terribly sick people who are overwhelming hospitals and doctors,  That’s a problem pretty much every nation will face.”

Dr. Kahn is emeritus professor at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and the Institute for Global Health Sciences in the School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco. He said today: “Biden, abetted by moderator questions focused on immediate action, claimed that he had short-term solutions, whereas Sanders wanted a revolution. Indeed, Sanders proposes both immediate solutions and long-overdue structural reforms to properly address serious long-term problems.

“Once again, Biden falsely equated his health care solution (a public option) and Bernie’s comprehensive reform Medicare for All. Biden’s approach would cost more — much more — and leave 100 million people seriously underinsured, facing large financial barriers, and limit doctor choice. Medicare for All would shift waste in our current system into giving everyone comprehensive first-dollar coverage, with free choice of doctor.”

In an released Sunday and challenging CNN to finally “get it” about Medicare for All, Himmelstein and Kahn anticipated Biden’s arguments about Italy. Said Himmelstein: “Our fragmented system leaves public health separate and disconnected from medical care, and provides no mechanism to appropriately balance funding priorities. Kahn noted that without a Medicare for All system, “we’re handicapping ourselves. In other words, Medicare for All is necessary but not sufficient.”

See Sunday news release “BREAKING: Coronavirus and Tonight’s Debate: ‘Now do you get it about Medicare for All?” — which announced plans for a projection onto the CNN building in Washington, D.C. as Sanders and Biden debated inside.


The projection was not done because the multimedia artist, Robin Bell, fell ill.

See pieces on media coverage of this issue from the media watch group FAIR including: “Corporate Journalists Push Tax Attack on Medicare for All” and “As Biden Invokes Dead Family Members Against Medicare for All, Media Play Along.”