Of all the issues Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg discussed in a lengthy interview Friday, one phrase clearly struck a nerve: “I trust you to figure out your own health care.”
“Instead of just assuming that sitting here in Washington we’re going to know what the right plan is for everybody ... we’re going to let people figure it out for themselves,” the South Bend, Indiana, mayor told Robert Costa of The Washington Post in a live-streamed interview. “I trust you to figure out your own health care, especially when we create these options.”
His phrasing clearly struck many critics on Twitter as cold. Some of the responses on Twitter reeled through horrifying health stories as sufferers were left to deal with the consequences of a flawed system that is clearly panicking many Americans. Others quipped that they had figured it out, and it’s called “Medicare for All.”
A Buttigieg spokesman responded to critics that it’s “very clear” the candidate “would make Medicare available to everybody.” In fact, Buttigieg told Costa that he calls his plan “Medicare for All Who Want It.” He would establish a public plan available to all. “But if you like the plan you’ve got, I’m not going to force you off of it,” he added. (See the video above, beginning at 47:50.)
Here's the full quote, where it’s very clear Pete was talking about how he would make Medicare available to everybody and let people decide for themselves what kind of plan is best for them: https://t.co/WGx5dEM2Qc pic.twitter.com/WartaYAYNJ— Sean Savett (@ssavett) December 13, 2019
Today in Buttigieg: He said he wants a Medicare public option that uninsured people are auto-enrolled in and everyone else can switch to from whatever plan they're on and then someone tweeted “Buttigieg: ‘I trust you to figure out your own health care’” and people flipped out— Tom Gara (@tomgara) December 14, 2019
Critics couldn’t get the “figure it out” phrase out of their head, which was highlighted in a tweet by David Smith, the Washington bureau chief for The Guardian. The truncated Twitter take on Buttigieg’s interview may have been the primary news source for many critics.
Buttigieg: “I trust you to figure out your own health care.”— David Smith (@SmithInAmerica) December 13, 2019
We’ve figured out that we’re going to die from lack of healthcare— Bootsie Rose 2020 🌹 (@bootsie5) December 13, 2019
Figured it out. We need #MedicareforAll.— Riley Tid-Pro-Quo-Marsh 🥔 (@Tidmarsh_in_ID) December 13, 2019
I read this while in the dentist chair at a discount county dental clinic, where I just had 2 teeth pulled because I can't afford root canals. I'm only 32 and these arent the first teeth I've lost to poverty. https://t.co/sJMhbNuLIP— Kendally Brown (@kendallybrown) December 13, 2019
Has this guy ever had to get his own insurance?— 🌲Just Bonobo 🌲 (@otto_maddoxx) December 13, 2019
Seriously. Has he always gotten his healthcare through govt sources?
Buttigieg: 'I leave you to the mercy of the corporate wolves that are funding my campaign.'— Viva la Political Revolution (@GrandmasHGArt) December 13, 2019
Spoken like a young person who has never faced a real heath issue.— Lawrence Dudley 🎅🍷🎄📚✍🏻🕵️♀️ (@WriterLDudley) December 13, 2019
You shouldn't have to figure out your health insurance. My policy is 500 pages and is clear as mud.— Max White (@maxwellhwhite) December 13, 2019
Hey cool! My work, which I depend on to live, controls that; and for some reason my deductible and co-pays seem to keep going up— GI Joey Joe Joe (@GIJoeyJoeJoe) December 13, 2019
Some choice, eh?
That's impossible people are powerless - even if one gets coverage through employment - we are at the mercy of our employer - which company & plan they pick - how much of the cost are they willing to share. For what can we be excluded - pre existing? Life time caps?— Cathy Coleman (@CathyJoeGPT) December 13, 2019
Love to have many unaffordable options to buy into a system that profits from denying me as much healthcare as it can. Great system.— Squirrel of Doom 🐿 (@squirrel_doom) December 13, 2019
Buttigieg: "It is okay to swim in shark infested waters, instead of removing the sharks we're just gonna trust you guys know how to avoid them"— online nobody (@online_nobody) December 13, 2019
Uhhhhh as a doctor I can’t figure this out @PeteButtigieg. How can my patients?— Smitha R. Chadaga (@srchadaga) December 13, 2019
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.