Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Monday defended his Medicare for All plan, which has faced criticism from some of his 2020 rivals for its staggering price tag.
In an interview with PBS NewsHour’s anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff, Sanders, I-Vt., criticized the current U.S. health care system as “dysfunctional” and said his plan would be less expensive than “if we do nothing.”
A report released by the Urban Institute last week found that his single-payer approach would cost $34 trillion dollars over 10 years, more than the total cost of social security, medicare and medicaid combined.
“Look, I am not denying that we’re going to spend a lot of money,” Sanders said in response. “But they cannot deny that we’re saving people substantial sums of money by eliminating all premiums. I talked to a woman in New Hampshire — $1,700 per month in premiums, huge prescription drug costs. Under our bill, no one pays more than $200 a year. The average American will pay less for health care under Medicare for All.”
More highlights from the interview
- On his health since his health attack earlier this month: “I took some time off. I’m feeling great right now,” Sanders said. “We had a wonderful rally on Saturday, we’re going to Iowa in a few days. We’re back and running.”
- On Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria: Sanders also strongly denounced President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops from Syria, saying the U.S. now needs to work with allies to bring stability to the region. “I think Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds, people who lost 10,000 soldiers fighting against ISIS, is one of the worst foreign policy and military decisions ever made by any president in the history of this country.” He went on to say Trump’s decision will “haunt” the U.S. and make allies question whether to trust the U.S. in the future.