Does Joe Biden Want to Eliminate Private Health Insurance?

During a segment on health care at last week’s presidential debate, President Trump claimed that Joe Biden wants to eliminate private health insurance plans.

“They have 180 million plans, 180 million people, families,” said Trump. “Under what he wants to do, which will basically be socialized medicine, he won’t even have a choice, they want to terminate 180 million plans.”

Biden’s health care proposal would build on the Affordable Care Act “with a plan to insure more than an estimated 97% of Americans.” His plan does not include getting rid of private insurance, which according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, an estimated 180 million people use.

Biden’s plan reads as follows: “Instead of starting from scratch and getting rid of private insurance, he has a plan to build on the Affordable Care Act by giving Americans more choice, reducing health care costs, and making our health care system less complex to navigate.”

In response to Trump’s false claim at the debate, Biden reiterated his plan to keep private insurance an option.

“The idea that I want to eliminate private insurance—the reason why I had such a fight with 20 candidates for the nomination, was I support private insurance,” said Biden. “That’s why. ”

At the AARP Presidential Candidates Forum this past July, Biden repeated his stance on private insurance: “I’d give people the option,” said Biden. “If you like your employer-based plan, you can keep it. If you have private insurance, you can keep it.”

Trump’s statement that Biden’s proposal would “terminate 180 million plans” is incorrect.

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Photograph by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

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