Healthcare plans of the top 5 Democratic candidates

Here are the healthcare plans the top five Democratic presidential candidates are campaigning on:

1. Joe Biden — The former vice president plans to establish a public option "like Medicare," and strengthen the ACA by expanding tax credits to buy insurance, offering alternatives for states that haven't expanded Medicaid, among other initiatives. Read more here.

2. Elizabeth Warren — The Massachusetts senator began her campaign "with Bernie" on "Medicare for All," but their plans for how to fund the single-payer system and how to get it off the ground have diverged. Ms. Warren favors creating a public option and delaying the introduction of a Medicare for All bill until her third year in office.

3. Bernie Sanders — The Independent Vermont senator who "wrote the damn bill" for Medicare for All has pledged to introduce a bill in his first week in office, and among other promises, to eliminate $81 billion in past-due medical debt.

4. Pete Buttigieg — The mayor of South Bend, Ind., favors a public option that he calls "Medicare for All Who Want It" and has said he would leave the door open to a single-payer system "if private insurers are not able to offer something dramatically better." He has also released plans for rural healthcare, long-term healthcare and mental health.

5. Kamala Harris — The California senator is also campaigning on a plan called Medicare for All, and although it shares a name with Mr. Sanders' plan, it differs quite a bit. The biggest difference is her plan explicitly preserves a role for private insurance companies and would be phased in over 10 years, as compared to Mr. Sanders' four-year plan. Ms. Harris released a plan for mental health on Nov. 25. Read more on that here.

Candidate rankings are based on the most recent national polling average provided by The New York Times.

 

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