Sanders knocks Harris on Medicare for All: 'I don't raise money from billionaires'

When Sen. Kamala Harris, in her latest effort to define her position on health care insurance, told a big-dollar Hamptons fundraiser she still wasn’t “comfortable” with the Medicare for All plan she has endorsed, her rival Bernie Sanders was quick to fire back.

“I don't go to the Hamptons to raise money from billionaires,” Sanders, who is running on a single-payer Medicare for All platform, said in a tweet Monday afternoon. “If I ever visited there, I would tell them the same thing I have said for the last 30 years: We must pass a Medicare for All system to guarantee affordable health care for all, not just for those who can afford it.”

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DAVENPORT, LOWA, UNITED STATES - 2019/07/16: United States Senator from California Kamala Harris hugs Kyrah Cortimiglia as she campaigns for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 United States presidential election at Friends of MLK during a round table discussion for women of color. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
DAVENPORT, LOWA, UNITED STATES - 2019/07/16: United States Senator from California Kamala Harris campaigns for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 United States presidential election at Friends of MLK during a round table discussion for women of color. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) speaks during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on Thursday, June 27, 2019, at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - JUNE 27: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks during a television interview after the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. A field of 20 Democratic presidential candidates was split into two groups of 10 for the first debate of the 2020 election, taking place over two nights at Knight Concert Hall of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful US Senator for California Kamala Harris participates in the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 27, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful US Senator for California Kamala Harris speaks to the press in the Spin Room after the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 27, 2019. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Senator Kamala Harris addresses the crowd at the We Decide: Planned Parenthood Action Fund 2020 Election Forum to Focus on Abortion and Reproductive Rights event in Columbia, SC on June, 22 2019. - Many of the Democratic candidates running for president are in Columbia to make appearances at the South Carolina Democratic Party Convention and the Planned Parenthood Election Forum on June 22. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of US Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris attend a meet and greet at an historic home in Columbia, South Carolina on June 21, 2019. - Many of the Democratic candidates running for president are in Columbia to make appearances at the South Carolina Democratic Party Convention and the Planned Parenthood Election Forum on June 22. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
US Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris speaks to a porch full of supporters at a meet and greet at an historic home in Columbia, South Carolina on June 21, 2019. - Many of the Democratic candidates running for president are in Columbia to make appearances at the South Carolina Democratic Party Convention and the Planned Parenthood Election Forum on June 22. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
A supporter of US Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris attends a meet and greet at an historic home in Columbia, South Carolina on June 21, 2019. - Many of the Democratic candidates running for president are in Columbia to make appearances at the South Carolina Democratic Party Convention and the Planned Parenthood Election Forum on June 22. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
A supporter of US Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris attends a meet and greet at an historic home in Columbia, South Carolina on June 21, 2019. - Many of the Democratic candidates running for president are in Columbia to make appearances at the South Carolina Democratic Party Convention and the Planned Parenthood Election Forum on June 22. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
MSNBC - Election Coverage "The Last Word Town Hall with Lawrence O'Donnell and Kamala Harris" -- Pictured: Kamala Harris -- (Photo by: Liz Nemeth/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MSNBC - Election Coverage "The Last Word Town Hall with Lawrence O'Donnell and Kamala Harris" -- Pictured: Kamala Harris -- (Photo by: Liz Nemeth/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MSNBC - Election Coverage "The Last Word Town Hall with Lawrence O'Donnell and Kamala Harris" -- Pictured: (l-r) Lawrence O'Donnell, Kamala Harris -- (Photo by: Liz Nemeth/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 27: Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks at the National Forum on Wages and Working People: Creating an Economy That Works for All at Enclave on April 27, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Six of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are attending the forum, held by the Service Employees International Union and the Center for American Progress Action Fund, to share their economic policies. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 05: Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks at the National Action Network convention on April 5, 2019 in New York City. A dozen 2020 Democratic presidential candidates will speak at the organization's convention this week. Founded by Rev. Al Sharpton in 1991, the National Action Network is one of the most influential African American organizations dedicated to civil rights in America. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Tuesday, March 19, included Senator Kamala Harris (2020 Presidential Candidate), Mark Hamill ("Knightfall"), and musical guest Judah & the Lion. (Randy Holmes via Getty Images) SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS
NORTH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 01: Attendees hold up campaign sign as U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (not pictured) speaks during a town hall meeting at Canyon Springs High School on March 1, 2019 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Harris is campaigning for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 21: (L-R) 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Rev. Al Sharpton exit after having lunch at Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem, February 21, 2019 in New York City. According to Sharptons civil rights organization National Action Network, the two discussed criminal justice reform and other critical issues. Harris dined on a dish of chicken and waffles. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 21: (L-R) Rev. Al Sharpton and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) talk while having lunch at Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem, February 21, 2019 in New York City. According to Sharptons civil rights organization National Action Network, the two discussed criminal justice reform and other critical issues. Harris dined on a dish of chicken and waffles. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
US Senator from California, Kamala Harris, addresses the media January, 21 2019 at Howard University in Washington, DC after announcing earlier in the day that she is seeking to become the first African American woman to hold the office of US president, joining an already-crowded field of Democrats lining up to take on Donald Trump. - Harris joins Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and former housing secretary Julian Castro, among others, either in the race or exploring a run for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Nearly 22 months before the 2020 election, the battle for the White House is already firming up, as Americans begin to assess who might be the opposition party nominee to challenge Trump for control of the White House. Harris made the announcement on the national holiday honoring civil rights movement icon Martin Luther King Jr., whom she said her mother met. (Photo by EVA HAMBACH / AFP) (Photo credit should read EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Senator Kamala Harris announced she is running for president in 2020 today, Monday, January 21, 2019 on Walt Disney Television via Getty Images's "Good Morning America." "Good Morning America" airs Monday-Friday (7-9am, ET) on Walt Disney Television via Getty Images. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images) SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ROBIN ROBERTS
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Harris tried to strike a nuanced position on the issue, although her reported remarks are hard to parse. "I think almost every member of the United States Senate who's running for president and many others have signed on to a variety of plans in the Senate. And I have done the same," Harris told the donors at the weekend event, according to remarks provided to the Daily Beast by her campaign. "All of them are good ideas, which is why I support them. And I support Medicare for All. But as you may have noticed, over the course of the many months, I've not been comfortable with Bernie's plan, the Medicare for All plan."

At the event — at the home of movie executive Jamie Patricof, where “Teslas and Maseratis lined the street” outside, as Bloomberg News reported — Harris emphasized that “I believe in capitalism,” an implied contrast to Sanders, who describes himself as a democratic socialist.

Sanders’s single-payer plan would eliminate most private insurance in the country within four years, providing universal coverage via a government plan. Harris was the first senator to co-sponsor Sanders’s bill in 2017 and again signed on as a co-sponsor of modified Medicare for All legislation in April, issuing a press release still available on her Senate website.

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Less than three weeks after suffering a heart attack, the Democratic presidential contender is beginning what he's calling a "vigorous" return to campaigning with a rally expected to draw thousands of supporters to New York City on Saturday afternoon.
Less than three weeks after suffering a heart attack, the Democratic presidential contender is beginning what he's calling a "vigorous" return to campaigning with a rally expected to draw thousands of supporters to New York City on Saturday afternoon.
A Bernie2020 campaign sign is help up in the crowd as Sanders co-chair Sen. Nina Turner, joined by local politicians and hospital workers protest the imminent closure of Hahnemann University Hospital at a rally outside the Center City facilities in Philadelphia, PA on July 11, 2019. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and former Vice President Joe Biden talk following a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN/New York Times at Otterbein University, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, in Westerville, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., gesture to each other during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN/New York Times at Otterbein University, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, in Westerville, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
PELLA, IA - JULY 04: An attendee hold a sign for U.S. Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during the 4th of July parade on July 4, 2019 in Pella, Iowa. The 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses will take place on Monday, February 3, 2020. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
PELLA, IA - JULY 04: U.S. Senator and 2020 presidential candidate v (I-VT) waves as he attends the 4th of July parade on July 4, 2019 in Pella, Iowa. The 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses will take place on Monday, February 3, 2020. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
PELLA, IA - JULY 04: U.S. Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) attends the 4th of July parade on July 4, 2019 in Pella, Iowa. The 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses will take place on Monday, February 3, 2020. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - JUNE 27: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to the media after the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. A field of 20 Democratic presidential candidates was split into two groups of 10 for the first debate of the 2020 election, taking place over two nights at Knight Concert Hall of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful US Senator for Vermont Bernie Sanders speaks to the press in the Spin Room after participating in the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 27, 2019. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful former US Senator for Vermont Bernie Sanders looks on during the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 27, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful US Senator for Vermont Bernie Sanders speaks during the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 27, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
HOMESTEAD, USA - JUNE 27: Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2020 presidential candidate speaks to the media outside the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children a detention facility for incarcerated youths that have been detained by Homeland Security in Homestead, Florida, United States on June 27, 2019. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui T./Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A supporter of Democratic presidential candidate and US Senator, Bernie Sanders, holds up a sign during a rally inside the gymnasium at Clinton College, a historically black college in Rock Hill, SC on June, 23 2019. - Many of the Democratic candidates running for president were in South Carolina over the weekend to make appearances at the Democratic Party Convention and win the hearts of black voters. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
Danny Glover (L), Hollywood actor and supporter of Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, listens as Sanders gives a speech inside the gymnasium at Clinton College, a historically black college in Rock Hill, SC on June, 23 2019. Glover has been on the campaign trail opening for the Senator during his swing through South Carolina. - Many of the Democratic candidates running for president were in South Carolina over the weekend to make appearances at the Democratic Party Convention and win the hearts of black voters. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic Senator and presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, greets supporters after a speech at a packed rally inside the gymnasium at Clinton College, a historically black college, before a rally in Rock Hill, SC on June, 23 2019. - Many of the Democratic candidates running for president were in South Carolina over the weekend to make appearances at the Democratic Party Convention and win the hearts of black voters. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic Senator and presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, addresses the crowd at a packed rally inside the gymnasium at Clinton College, a historically black college, before a rally in Rock Hill, SC on June, 22 2019. - Many of the Democratic candidates running for president were in South Carolina over the weekend to make appearances at the Democratic Party Convention and win the hearts of black voters. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - 2019/05/31: U.S. Senator and presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, speaks at a campaign rally in Pasadena, California. The 2020 presidential hopeful spoke to supporters at the Pasadena Convention Center. This weekend Sanders will also attend the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention in San Francisco. (Photo by Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - 2019/05/31: Supporters of the Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders are seen holding letters that spell Bernie during a campaign rally in Pasadena, California. The 2020 presidential hopeful spoke to supporters at the Pasadena Convention Center. This weekend Sanders will also attend the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention in San Francisco. (Photo by Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - MAY 31: Sen. Bernie Sanders appears at a campaign rally at the Pasadena Convention Center on May 31, 2019 in Pasadena, California. Sanders and three other candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination - Sen. Kamala Harris, Julian Castro and Gov. Jay Inslee - will field questions at the Immigrant Unity and Freedom Presidential Forum of 2019 nearby, following the rally. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - 2019/05/31: Supporters of the Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders hold Bernie placards during a campaign rally in Pasadena, California. The 2020 presidential hopeful spoke to supporters at the Pasadena Convention Center. This weekend Sanders will also attend the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention in San Francisco. (Photo by Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MONTPELIER, VT - MAY 25: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally in the capital of his home state of Vermont on May 25, 2019 in Montpelier, Vermont. This was the first Vermont rally of Sanders' 2020 campaign. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
SCHENLEY PLAZA, PITTSBURGH, PA, UNITED STATES - 2019/04/14: People holding Bernie signs during a Bernie Sanders rally campaign ahead of United States Presidential election. Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rally in Pittsburgh, PA on the campaign trail for the bid in the 2020 election. (Photo by Aaron Jackendoff/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SCHENLEY PLAZA, PITTSBURGH, PA, UNITED STATES - 2019/04/14: Bernie Sanders speaks to the crowd during his rally campaign ahead of United States Presidential election. Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rally in Pittsburgh, PA on the campaign trail for the bid in the 2020 election. (Photo by Aaron Jackendoff/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SCHENLEY PLAZA, PITTSBURGH, PA, UNITED STATES - 2019/04/14: Bernie Sanders speaks to the crowd during his rally campaign ahead of United States Presidential election. Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rally in Pittsburgh, PA on the campaign trail for the bid in the 2020 election. (Photo by Aaron Jackendoff/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SCHENLEY PLAZA, PITTSBURGH, PA, UNITED STATES - 2019/04/14: Bernie Sanders speaks to the crowd during his rally campaign ahead of United States Presidential election. Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rally in Pittsburgh, PA on the campaign trail for the bid in the 2020 election. (Photo by Aaron Jackendoff/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 5: Flanked by Rev. Al Sharpton (L) and Rev. W. Franklyn Richardson (R) look on as Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at the National Action Network's annual convention, April 5, 2019 in New York City. A dozen 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are speaking at the organization's convention this week. Founded by Rev. Al Sharpton in 1991, the National Action Network is one of the most influential African American organizations dedicated to civil rights in America. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 05: Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I -VT) attends the National Action Network's annual convention on April 5, 2019 in New York City. A dozen 2020 Democratic presidential candidates will speak at the organization's convention this week. Founded by Rev. Al Sharpton in 1991, the National Action Network is one of the most influential African American organizations dedicated to civil rights in America. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 24: Supporters of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) listen during a campaign rally at Great Meadow Park in Fort Mason on March 24, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Thousands are expected to attend the rally as Sanders continues his California swing in preparation for the early 2020 primaries (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 24: Volunteer Ena Silva wears a hat she decorated during a campaign rally for 2020 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at Great Meadow Park in Fort Mason on March 24, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Thousands are expected to attend the rally as Sanders continues his California swing in preparation for the early 2020 primaries (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 24: Souvenir t-shirts are seen outside a campaign rally for 2020 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at Great Meadow Park in Fort Mason on March 24, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Thousands are expected to attend the rally as Sanders continues his California swing in preparation for the early 2020 primaries (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 24: Judy Canham holds a doll of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during a campaign rally at Great Meadow Park in Fort Mason on March 24, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Thousands are expected to attend the rally as Sanders continues his California swing in preparation for the early 2020 primaries (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 24: Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a campaign rally at the Great Meadow Park in Fort Mason on March 24, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Sanders, who is so far the top Democratic candidate in the race, is making the rounds in California which is considered a crucial 'first five' primary state by the Sanders campaign. California will hold on early primary on March 3, 2020. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 20: Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) gives a speech during a single-day strike of University of California research and technical workers on the UCLA Westwood campus March 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Union leaders and students from UCLA also participated in the activities. Similar demonstrations were held at UC medical facilities across the state. Sen. Sanders formally announced in February that he is running for President in the 2020 campaign. (Photo bu Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - MARCH 14: 2020 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) addresses the crowd at the Royal Family Life Center on March 14, 2019 in North Charleston, South Carolina. Sanders received 26 percent of the South Carolina Democratic vote in the 2020 race, eventually losing the nomination to Hillary Clinton. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - MARCH 14: 2020 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) greets the crowd at the Royal family Life Center on March 14, 2019 in North Charleston, South Carolina. Sanders received 26 percent of the South Carolina Democratic vote in the 2020 race, eventually losing the nomination to Hillary Clinton. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CONCORD, NH - MARCH 10: Supporters of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during a campaign event on March 10, 2019 in Concord, New Hampshire. Sanders who is so far the top Democratic candidate in the race is making the rounds in Iowa and New Hampshire. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IA - MARCH 09: 2020 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) greets potential supporters at a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on March 9, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. Sanders who is so far the top Democratic candidate in the race is making the rounds in Iowa and New Hampshire. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)
Senator Bernie Sanders launched his 2020 presidential campaign at his alma mater, Brooklyn College, in his hometown Brooklyn, New York, US, on 2 March 2019. (Photo by Selcuk Acar/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders, Independent US Senator from Vermont speaks on stage as he kicks-off his campaign for the 2020 U.S. Presidential Elections on a Democratic ticket at a rally at Brooklyn College, in Brooklyn, NY on March 2, 2019. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders, Independent US Senator from Vermont speaks on stage as he kicks-off his campaign for the 2020 U.S. Presidential Elections on a Democratic ticket at a rally at Brooklyn College, in Brooklyn, NY on March 2, 2019. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 02: Bernie Sanders pins are on display during his first presidential campaign rally at Brooklyn College on March 02, 2019 in the Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Kena Betancur/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images)
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“Health care should be a right for everyone in this country, not a privilege for the few. No family should be forced to go into debt to pay for the medical treatment of a loved one or the prescription drugs they need to stay healthy,” said Harris in the statement. “Medicare is the most popular health plan in the country because it works. Medicare for All finally makes sure every American has affordable, comprehensive health care.”

But she seemed to qualify that position at the Democratic candidates’ July debate, explaining that after talking to voters she wanted to create a program that would allow for private plans and that the four-year transition to Sanders’s plan was too quick.

At a CNN town hall in January, Harris said she felt “very strongly” about the Medicare for All program and that she would be willing to eliminate private insurance to implement it. The next day her campaign began to walk back those comments, as an adviser said she was open to more moderate programs but that Medicare for All was the plan she was running on.

"Medicare for All is the plan that she believes will solve the problem and get all Americans covered — period," press secretary Ian Sams told CNN. "She has co-sponsored other pieces of legislation that she sees as a path to getting us there, but this is the plan she is running on."

At the first Democratic debate in June, Harris raised her hand when asked if she would eliminate private insurance in favor of a government-run plan. Following the debate, Harris said that she had misheard the question and thought the moderator had asked if she was willing to personally use a government plan.

The Harris campaign introduced its own health care plan in July, which would offer government health insurance with a limit on out-of-pocket costs, phased in over 10 years, during which private insurance would still exist to compete with the government plan. Harris has touted the support of Kathleen Sebelius, former Obama administration Health and Human Services secretary, for her program, an endorsement complicated by Sebelius’s serving on the board of a company that sells Medicare Advantage plans, which could be expanded under the Harris proposal. Insurance companies have been accused of overcharging the government an estimated $30 billion over the past three years.

The California senator also drew criticism from progressive groups on Monday after ABC News reported that she would be skipping a September climate town hall in order to attend a fundraiser. Harris was the only one of the nine candidates who qualified for the forum to decline the invitation.

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