4 healthcare takeaways from night 1 of the 2nd Democratic debate

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Healthcare dominated the discussion on the first night of the second Democratic debate in the 2020 primary season.

Hosted by CNN in Detroit, 10 Democratic candidates for president went head-to-head on the issues.  

Here are four discussion points for healthcare leaders to note:

1. On leftists versus liberals: Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney started the mudslinging over healthcare right away in his opening statement. He presented the issue as a choice between "bad policies like 'Medicare for All,' free everything and impossible promises that will turn off independent voters and get Trump reelected," and ideas to "unify our country and grow the economy." Most of the candidates lined up opposite of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who defended a true single-payer plan and dismissed other candidates' criticisms as "Republican talking points."

2. On hospital rates under Medicare for All: Mr. Sanders said Medicare for All would save hospitals "substantial sums of money because they're not going to be spending a fortune doing billing and the other bureaucratic things that they have to do today." Mr. Delaney challenged his math, noting the reduced rate Medicare pays hospitals compared to private payers. "It's been well-documented that if all the bills were paid at Medicare rate … then many hospitals in this country would close," he said.

3. On taxing the middle class to pay for Medicare for All: When asked if single-payer healthcare would require raising taxes on the middle class, Ms. Warren said net healthcare costs would be lower. "Giant corporations and billionaires are going to pay more. Middle-class families are going to pay less out of pocket for their healthcare," Ms. Warren said. 

4. On health insurance for union workers: Mr. Sanders, who claimed to be the most pro-union candidate, said Medicare for All would save companies money on healthcare benefits, so they can increase wages for union workers. Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan said union workers prize their private healthcare plans and will want to keep them. "I'm trying to explain that these union members are losing their jobs, their wages have been stagnant, the world is crumbling around them — the only thing they have is possibly really good healthcare."

Find a full transcript of the debates from NBC here.


More articles on leadership and management:

Viewpoint: Attacks on Vidant Health CEO jeopardize healthcare in North Carolina
Democratic opponents take aim at Kamala Harris' healthcare plan
Bernie Sanders buses to Canada in search of cheaper insulin

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