Kamala Harris makes her first visit to Iowa

Sen. Kamala Harris, in her first visit to Iowa since she announced a presidential run, laid out a series of progressive proposals that would establish Medicare-for-all and end private insurance — and for the first time threw her support behind the Green New Deal plan to fight climate change.

The first-term senator from California called insurance companies “inhumane” and said health care should be a right — not a privilege — for every American.

“What we know is that, to live in a civil society, to be true to the ideals and the spirit of who we say we are as a country, we have to appreciate and understand that access to health care should not be thought of as a privilege. It should be understood to be a right,” she said Monday evening during a town hall meeting on CNN.

Host Jake Tapper pressed her that even people who like their insurance wouldn’t get to keep it.

“The idea is that everyone gets access to medical care, and you don’t have to go through the process of going through an insurance company, having them give you approval, going through the paperwork, all of the delay that may require,” Harris said during the event in Des Moines.

“Who of us has not had that situation, where you’ve got to wait for approval, and the doctor says, ‘Well, I don’t know if your insurance company is going to cover this’? Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on,” she continued.

She also endorsed the Green New Deal, calling climate change an “existential threat” and blasting Republican lawmakers who deny its existence.

“I support a Green New Deal and I will tell you why: Climate change is an existential threat and we have got to deal with the reality of it,” Harris said. “We have got to deal with the reality of the fact that there are people trying to peddle some ideas that we should deny it. They are peddling science fiction instead of what we should do, which is rely on science fact.”

Harris, who kicked off her presidential campaign in her hometown of Oakland, California, on Sunday, was asked her thoughts about becoming the first black female president if successful.

She referred to a saying from her mother: “You may be the first to do many things, but make sure you’re not the last.”

“I have seen fathers bring their sons up to me and say, ‘She is the first,’ in a way that is to also speak to those sons about the fact they should not ever be burdened by what has been and they should see what can be,” she said.

“I think that’s really the most important takeaway, which is that with each barrier we break, it is saying to all of us, don’t be burdened by what has been. See what can be and strive for that,” Harris continued.

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