Political News

Beto O'Rourke says there's 'room for competing views' among Democrats

Posted July 31, 2019 8:48 a.m. EDT

— Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke believes there's room for competing views in the Democratic Party after moderates and progressives clashed during Tuesday night's fiery debate in Detroit.

"I don't see that as a problem. We're purportedly the world's greatest democracy. There's room for competing views and visions, and I'm glad that we have these kind of debates so that the American people can hear them," O'Rourke said on CNN's "New Day" Wednesday.

The ideological divide within the Democratic Party was on full display Tuesday at the CNN-sponsored debate, as the party's moderate candidates confronted Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders over progressive policies they back, including "Medicare for All," which would phase out private health insurance.

O'Rourke supports universal health care, but he has taken a more moderate approach to healthcare. The former Texas congressman has proposed a plan called "Medicare for America," which calls for expanding government-run health coverage while keeping employer-sponsored insurance plans.

Under O'Rourke's plan, uninsured Americans would be enrolled in Medicare and those who are dissatisfied with their private insurance would be allowed to opt into the federal program -- while retaining private insurance for those who wish to keep it.

"So we reject the false choice that you can just have the status quo, the Affordable Care Act, or you can have a program that forces everybody off of private insurance," O'Rourke told CNN Wednesday. "By listening to people, we found a better way."