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.)
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.