Democrats unite at debate in endorsing health care to undocumented immigrants

All 10 candidates on Thursday night’s Democratic debate stage said their health care plans would provide coverage for people in the country illegally, a show of unity on what had been a contentious night between the candidates.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden were given the opportunity to elaborate.

“Our country is healthier when everybody is healthier,” said Buttigieg. “We’re talking about something people are given the opportunity to buy into in the same way that there are undocumented immigrants in my community who pay. They pay sales taxes, they pay property taxes directly or indirectly. This is not about a handout, this is an insurance program and we do ourselves no favors by having 11 million undocumented people in our country be unable to access health care.”

Buttigieg then criticized the current immigration legislation and said there needs to be a path for citizenship for people in the country illegally.

Moderator Savannah Guthrie then turned to Biden and asked why he had not raised his hand. Biden explained that he had, and then elaborated.

“You cannot let as [Buttigieg] said, you cannot let people who are sick, no matter where they come from, no matter what their status, go uncovered, you can’t do that,” said Biden. “it’s just got to be taken care of, period. You have to, it’s the humane thing to do.”

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Melania Trump kicks off 2020 campaign
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Melania Trump kicks off 2020 campaign
First lady Melania Trump speaks to supporters at a rally where President Donald Trump formally announced his 2020 re-election bid Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive on stage to formally kick off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
US President Donald Trump greets First Lady Melania Trump as he takes the stage for the official launch of the Trump 2020 campaign at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. - Trump kicks off his reelection campaign at what promised to be a rollicking evening rally in Orlando. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, USA - JUNE 18: US first lady Melania Trump greets supporters during a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. President Donald Trump officially launches his 2020 campaign. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui T./Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
First lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump greet supporters at a rally to formally announce his 2020 re-election bid Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
ORLANDO, USA - JUNE 18: US first lady Melania Trump (C) beside US President Donald Trump (R) speaks during a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. President Donald Trump officially launches his 2020 campaign. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui T./Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
ORLANDO, USA - JUNE 18: US President Donald Trump (2nd L), first lady Melania Trump (L), US Vice President Mike Pence (2nd R) and his wife Karen Pence (R) greet supporters during a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. President Donald Trump officially launches his 2020 campaign. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui T./Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, USA - JUNE 18: US President Donald Trump (C-L) and first lady Melania Trump (C) arrive on stage during a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. President Donald Trump officially launches his 2020 campaign. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui T./Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive for the official launch of the Trump 2020 campaign at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. - Trump kicks off his reelection campaign at what promised to be a rollicking evening rally in Orlando. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump greets First Lady Melania Trump as he takes the stage for the official launch of the Trump 2020 campaign at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. - Trump kicks off his reelection campaign at what promised to be a rollicking evening rally in Orlando. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, USA - JUNE 18: US President Donald Trump (R) and first lady Melania Trump (L) greet supporters a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. President Donald Trump officially launches his 2020 campaign. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui T./Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive for the official launch of the Trump 2020 campaign at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. - Trump kicks off his reelection campaign at what promised to be a rollicking evening rally in Orlando. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet supporters at a rally where the president formally announced his 2020 re-election bid Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
President Donald Trump with first lady Melania Trump arrives to speak at his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
ORLANDO, USA - JUNE 18: US President Donald Trump (C-L) and first lady Melania Trump (C-R) arrive on stage during a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. President Donald Trump officially launches his 2020 campaign. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui T./Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump kiss at a campaign kick off rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts with first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence on stage formally kicking off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump wave at a campaign kick off rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
First lady Melania Trump speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump looks on as he formally kick off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts with first lady Melania Trump as he formally kick off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts with first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence on stage formally kicking off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
First lady Melania Trump speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump looks on as he formally kick off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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“But here’s the deal, the deal is [Buttigieg’s] right about three things,” added Biden. “No. 1, they in fact contribute to the well-being of the country but they in fact increase the lifespan of Social Security because they have a job, they’re paying a social security tax. That’s what they’re doing, it’s increased the lifespan. They would do the same thing for reducing the overall cost of health care by them being able to be treated and not wait.”

Biden also suggested that insurance executives could be prosecuted for their misleading representation of opioids.

President Trump’s Twitter account — perhaps not the president directly, as he is in meetings at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan — promptly criticized the position.

“All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited healthcare. How about taking care of American Citizens first!? That’s the end of that race!” he exclaimed.

Although Trump’s tweet Thursday night declared that the 2020 race was over, his own stance on health care once drew widespread backlash: The Trump-backed Obamacare repeal plan in 2017 was found to have knocked millions of Americans off their health care. One MIT professor found it to be the least popular legislation in three decades.

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