Healthcare is likely to be one of the main issues of the 2020 election, especially given that moderate Democrats and progressive liberals are so divided on the Affordable Care Act and on the realism and effectiveness of programs like Medicare for All. 

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), one of more than 20 presidential Democratic candidates for 2020, is a centrist who wants to improve the ACA — more commonly known as Obamacare — by helping to ensure private insurance companies stay afloat while being held accountable.

“I’m a big believer that the Affordable Care Act did not go far enough but it was a great start and I don’t want to tear it apart,” Hickenlooper told uPolitics exclusively. “And I don’t believe that Medicare for All, where the United States Government would have to take private insurance away from 180 million Americans, [is a good idea.].”

Hickenlooper, the former mayor of Denver, went on to say he believes many Americans “hate” their private health insurance plans because co-pays are too high and because their are few coverage options.

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“I think [it would be] better to have a public option so people on a sliding scale can get into some form of Medicare, maybe Medicare advantage but they’ll have a choice,” he added.

Hickenlooper was famously booed at a Democratic convention in California earlier this year for saying “socialism is not the answer” to defeating President Donald Trump in 2020. At last month’s second-round debate in Detroit, Hickenlooper also got into a verbal skirmish with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) about whether or not Democrats should espouse progressive policies on healthcare and the economy.

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The former Colorado governor said he believes that if far-left candidates like Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachuetts) are correct regarding the effectiveness of Medicare for All — which would essentially constitute a single-payer government-run national healthcare system with an emphasis on coverage for the elderly (age 65 and older) — the public option will “attract more and more people and grow in size,” while quality of coverage will improve and costs will decline. Under Medicare for All, a portion of Social Security paychecks would go toward Medicare in order to cover basic services like doctor’s visits and hospital stays. The hybrid program would include a blend of public funding and private insurance funding.

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“Fifteen or 20 years from now, we could end up with Medicare for All but it would be an evolution, not a revolution,” Hickenlooper added.

Stay tuned for more videos from uPolitics’ series of exclusive interviews with 2020 presidential candidates!