Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) tangled over health care at the outset of Thursday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate, with Biden labeling the Vermont Independent a “socialist.” 

“For a socialist you got a lot more confidence in corporate America than I do,” Biden quipped, slamming Sanders for reportedly saying that employers would be more amenable to giving employees insurance if they form a union. 

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Sanders fired back, suggesting Biden’s proposal could lead families to “financial ruin” if they have to deal with a serious illness like cancer. 

“Every single person who is diagnosed with cancer or any other disease can automatically become part of this plan. They will not go bankrupt because of that,” Biden responded.

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Health care has emerged as a chief fissure among Democrats, with Biden supporting expanding the Affordable Care Act while making a public option available to those who want it while Sanders pushes a “Medicare for All” platform that would eliminate private insurance, a plan centrists have panned for its cost and possibility of taking away certain people’s plans. 

The “socialist” label has loomed large over the primary field, with the GOP eager to point to progressive policies like Medicare for All as evidence that a Democratic president would lurch the country to the left.

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