Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Loom Large in Night 2 of Dem Debates as Healthcare Again Dominates the Conversation

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren may not have been onstage, but their presence loomed large as the ten candidates for CNN‘s second Democratic primary debate fought over healthcare under the parameters set by the two progressive front-runners. 

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) was on the defensive for most of the first portion of the night due to her version of “Medicare for All” which involves a ten-year phase in for the program.

“The cost of doing nothing is far too expensive,” said Harris. “We must act.”

Harris also called back to Tuesday night’s criticisms of more right wing Democrats from Warren and Sanders.

WOW Kamala Harris stealing lines from Bernie and Warren “We can’t keep repeating Republican talking points!!!” after she repeatedly fails to explain/defend her healthcare plan.

— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) August 1, 2019

Among her critics was former Vice President Joe Biden, who is running largely on a platform of expanding the Obama-era Affordable Care Act (ACA), saying that his plan “builds on Obamacare.”

But, as journalist Andrew Bard Epstein pointed out to Common Dreams, for all of Biden’s posturing, the ACA isn’t exactly the  gold standard. 

“I keep saying this but the fact that healthcare remains the major issue of the Democratic primary, and for many voters, is a tacit admission of Obamacare’s failure, or what Biden called a ‘big fucking deal’ because he thought the issue was now solved,” said Epstein. “Does it feel solved to you?”