Michael Bennet Reminds Sanders That Vermont Rejected Single-Payer Health Care

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Evie Fordham Politics and Health Care Reporter
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Low-polling presidential candidate Michael Bennet reminded Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders that the socialist’s own state rejected the idea of single-payer health care at the second Democratic debate Thursday.

“Healthcare is a right. We need to get to universal healthcare. I believe the way to do that is by finishing the work we started with Obamacare and creating a public option. … I believe we will get there much more quickly if we do that,” Bennet said. “Bernie mentioned the taxes that we would have to pay, because of those taxes, Vermont rejected Medicare for all.”


Bennet was referencing the 2014 failure of Vermont to implement the single-payer health care system. The switch initially seemed like a go but failed after Democratic Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, who backed the change, said it would cost too much and “might hurt our economy.”

Sanders’s Medicare for all proposal is a single-payer system. (RELATED: Biden Jokes About Hugging Debate Opponents Who Attack Him)

Bennet, a Democratic senator from Colorado, entered the race in May. He made health care a big part of his presidential platform, but he is not a supporter of Medicare for all like many of his Democratic rivals. Bennet re-introduced his legislation that would create “Medicare-X,” a public option that does not eliminate private health insurance.

Bennet barely made it onto the debate stage after polling at least one percent in three separate polls. He polled at one percent in the early June poll that earned him his slot, reported Politico.

There are currently two Medicare for all proposals introduced in Congress: a Senate proposal linked to Sanders and a House proposal introduced by Democratic Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Debbie Dingell of Michigan.

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