'Let's talk about math': Biden and Harris spar over healthcare

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., continued their sparring over the future of American healthcare during the second Democratic debate on Wednesday night in Detroit, Mich.

Biden was criticizing Democrats who supported Medicare for All, referencing plans endorsed by Harris and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“I don’t know what math you do in New York, I don’t know what math you do in California, but I tell you, that’s a lot of money, and there will be a deductible, and that will be out of your paycheck, because that’s what’s required," said Biden.

Harris shot back, citing the pharmaceutical industry's profits.

“Let’s talk about math," Harris said. "Last year the pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies alone profited $72 billion, and under your plan, you do nothing to hold the insurance companies to task for what they have been doing for American families."

Policies like Medicare for All have emerged as a cleavage point during the Democratic debates. Progressives have endorsed Medicare for All-type proposals that would greatly expand the federal government's role in healthcare. Others, like Biden, have endorsed proposals that would phase in an expansion of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Contributing: Camille Caldera

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Democratic debate 2019: Biden and Kamala Harris spar over healthcare