Octobers Democratic Debate

Another debate has come and gone and if you watched last night, you probably have more questions than you did before the debate started. 

What’s the deal with healthcare? And the impeachment? And is Andrew Yang really going to give every American a $1,000 a month?

Well, those questions were (kinda) answered last night. Twelve Democrats took the stage to answer questions on topics ranging from the economy to healthcare to the impeachment inquiry of President Trump. 

The candidates that took the stage were: Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Kamala Harris, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Texas Rep. Beto O’ Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Amy Klobuchar, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang, and Tom Steyer. 

Impeachment was the first topic brought up and it seemed that all of the candidates who spoke had the same idea: Trump needs to be impeached. Harris, Biden, Sanders, and Steyer went as far as saying that Trump is “the most corrupt president in American history.”

Biden spoke about his son’s involvement with a natural gas company in Ukraine (the involvement that led to what the impeachment inquiry is now). He gave brief answers but continued to stress the innocence of his son, Hunter Biden, and himself. 

Then he came at Trump with the first sting of the night. After reassuring everyone that he followed forgien policies correctly he said, “Trump knows if I get the nomination, I will beat him like a drum.”

Trump was silent on Twitter even after that remark.

The next big topic of the night was the idea of Medicare for All, a plan that Sanders and Warren are running off. Medicare for All is a free government issued health care plan for every American. Warren was targeted during this portion of the debate because she refused to admit that middle-class workers would be taxed more to put this insurance in place, something Sanders has already admitted to. 

Klobuchar came after Warren fast and called her plan “a pipe dream”. As a frontrunner so far, Warren took a lot of punches and Klobuchar was the fist behind a lot of them.

So will the middle-class get taxed for Medicare for All? That’s still unsure. Warren was adamant that they wouldn’t but had no concrete plans to back that up and the other candidates seemed unconvinced.

Moderates like Buttigieg also questioned Warrens plan. He pitched the idea “Medicare for All who want it”. He acknowledged that taxes will go up under Medicare for All and fought for the idea to give Americans a choice between government issued insurance or private insurance. 

At the end of the healthcare talk, Harris was the only candidate to bring up women’s reproductive rights, and brought shame to the fact that there hasn’t been a question on women’s reproductive rights so far in this debate cycle. She said women’s access to reproductive healthcare is “under full-on attack in America right now.”

So, what about that $1,000 check from Yang? Well, it’s a plan he calls a ‘Freedom Dividend’ which translates to universal basic income for Americans. He explained his plan, “we have a freedom dividend of $1,000 a month, it recognizes the work in our families and communities. It helps all Americans transition.”

Where the money would come from was not discussed in the debate but he did have Gabbard on his side. She called it a “good idea to help provide that security so people can make choices they want to see.”

The next Democratic Debate is set to take place on November 20th and some candidates are already qualified to be in it. Qualifications are based on the amount of donors a candidate has secured, which is a minimum of 165,000 individuals, and they have to be running over 3% in the polls. Eight candidates have met both of these qualifications so far: Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Kamala Harris, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, and Tom Steyer. 

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