“You’d have torn my ears off.” – Joe Biden
U.S. Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden said on Monday that his fast-rising rival Pete Buttigieg “stole” the former vice president’s healthcare policy proposals, as the two battle for support in the early nominating state of Iowa.
Biden, among the leaders in the 16-member Democratic field for the right to take on Republican President Donald Trump in next year’s election, is proposing expanding the Affordable Care Act.
Popularly known as Obamacare, the healthcare law was the signature domestic policy achievement of former Democratic President Barack Obama, whom Biden served as No. 2.
Biden would add a “public option,” which would allow individuals to opt into a government plan but would preserve the existing role for private insurers.
Like Biden, Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, favors the public option and coined the phrase “Medicare for all who want it” to describe the concept.
“He stole it,” Biden told reporters on his campaign bus in Iowa. Biden said he would have been criticized if he had copied someone else’s health plan.
“What would you have done to me? You’d have torn my ears off,” he said.