Medicare for All: Sanders & Warren Defend Plan to Expand Healthcare Coverage to Everyone

StorySeptember 13, 2019
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At Thursday’s debate, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren defended their Medicare for All plan. They faced criticism from several rivals, including Senator Amy Klobuchar, who described it as a “bad idea,” and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who claimed the bill shows Sanders and Warren do not “trust the American people.”

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AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to turn to our last clip, which is actually the beginning of the whole debate last night, and it was around the issue of Medicare for All. This is Senator Amy Klobuchar.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR: And while Bernie wrote the bill, I read the bill. And on page eight — on page eight of the bill, it says that we will no longer have private insurance as we know it. And that means that 149 million Americans will no longer be able to have their current insurance. That’s in four years. I don’t think that’s a bold idea; I think it’s a bad idea.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Page eight of the bill, she says, 149 people will lose their health insurance.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: What this is about is making sure that we have the most efficient way possible to pay for healthcare for everyone in this country. Insurance companies last year sucked $23 billion in profits out of the system. How did they make that money? Every one of those $23 billion was made by an insurance company saying no to your healthcare coverage.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Mayor Buttigieg.

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG: The problem, Senator Sanders, with that damn bill that you wrote, and that Senator Warren backs, is that it doesn’t trust the American people. I trust you to choose what makes the most sense for you, not my way or the highway. Now, look, I think we do have to go far beyond tinkering with the ACA. I propose Medicare for all who want it.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Sanders, 45 seconds.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: George, you talked about — was it 150 million people on private insurance? Fifty million of those people lose their private insurance every year when they quit their jobs or they go unemployed or their employer changes their insurance policy.

Medicare for All is comprehensive healthcare, covers all basic needs, including home healthcare. It allows you to go to any doctor you want, which many private insurance company programs do not. So, if you want comprehensive healthcare, freedom of choice regarding doctor or hospital, no more than $200 a year for prescription drugs, taking on the drug companies and the insurance companies, moving to Medicare for All is the way to go.

AMY GOODMAN: Just some of the candidates speaking last night in Houston at the historically black college, Texas Southern University, in their third major Democratic debate. That last person, of course, was Senator Bernie Sanders; before that, Indiana South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.

I want to thank our guests for being with us, Cesar Espinosa, executive director of FIEL, a Houston-based nonprofit that helps undocumented members of the Latino community in Houston; Julian Brave NoiseCat, director of the Green New Deal strategy at the think tank Data for Progress; and Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change.

And that does it for our show. Today we will be covering Greta Thunberg, with many others, outside the White House for this Friday for Future, the protest around climate change that’s been taking place around the globe. To go to our hour on Greta Thunberg, go to democracynow.org. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

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