Congressman and 2020 hopeful Tim Ryan said he agreed with former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who warned Democratic nominees running on “Medicare-for-all” platforms that the strategy would be a flub in the general election.
In a recent interview with Vice, Reid said that candidates should focus on improving ObamaCare “without bringing something that would be much harder to sell,” like a single-payer health system.
Ryan echoed those sentiments on Wednesday in an interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo, saying: “I think going for taking people’s private health insurance away as part of our health care plan is a stone-cold political loser for us.”
“It’s bad policy,” he said, speaking from a campaign stop in Iowa.
“People have negotiated really good contracts. Union workers like the ones behind me right now here in Iowa negotiated good health care, sacrificed wages. You cant go in and say you’re gonna want to take their health care away. I think that’s a loser for us and I’m not for that.”
Ryan touted a more “progressive reasonable approach” focused on getting universal coverage for all and making it affordable for everyone.
“The system is broken,” he said. “We’re spending two and a half times as much on health care as every other industrialized country and get the worst results. Because it’s a disease-care system. We wait till people get really really sick and then we spend a lot of money trying to take care of them. We need to move to things like food is medicine. We need to reverse chronic disease which is about $3.5 trillion a year. This stuff is reversible.”
“Let’s have an innovative progressive health care system that keeps us healthy instead of a disease care system that makes money off of us being sick,” Ryan added.
Ryan argued with Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on the Democratic debate stage saying that a Medicare-for-all system would badly hurt union workers, a notion that some unions have pushed back on as false.
The candidate, who has not yet qualified for the third round of debates slated to take place on Sept. 12 and 13, said of the debates, “I wish they were smaller where we got more time to talk.”
He complained that his platforms for health and education reform haven’t been given enough of a platform for discussion because of strict time constraints on the debate floor.
“I didn’t really get a chance to get all that out because you only get a minute or 30 seconds,”
So far, almost half of the candidates in a field of nearly two dozen have qualified for the third round. Ryan said that he is confident he will make the cut and that he is “nowhere near getting out of this race.”
Still, Ryan said he believes he will be the one to beat President Trump.
“If you want somebody that’s gonna bring the country together, not be so polarized, I’m the guy to do it. I’m the guy who can beat Donald Trump from the Democratic side and I want to bring us together. I want to work with Republicans I want to work with the business community,” he said.
Ryan also pushed back on the notion that Democrats are itching for a recession to combat Trump’s campaign re-election crux of a thriving economy.
“I’ve been talking about this economy not doing well for the vast majority of people for a long time,” Ryan said. “Seventy-five percent of the people in this country are still living paycheck to paycheck and so the stock market was doing well and unemployment was low but people were still not getting ahead.”
The 2020 hopeful said he has a plan to “put a public-private partnership together where the government is doing constructive things to create jobs that are $30, $40, $50 an hour, not $15 an hour. That’s where the economy is not working for people.”
Ryan also blamed poor policy decisions to cut taxes saying, “When we do have a recession we will have no tools in the toolbox to take care of anything.”
“We should have raised taxes when times were going good so when times go bad …then we got some money to spend, then you cut taxes.”