Politics

Low-Polling Democrat Challenges Bernie Sanders On Medicare For All: ‘Why Do We Gotta Be The Party Of Taking Something Away?’

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Evie Fordham Politics and Health Care Reporter
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Low-polling Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney challenged Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s Medicare for all plan during the second round of Democratic debates in Detroit on Tuesday.

Moderator Jake Tapper of CNN asked Sanders to rebut former Maryland Rep. Delaney’s characterization of Medicare for all as bad policy.

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“You’re wrong. Right now we have a dysfunctional health care system. Eighty-seven million uninsured or underinsured, 500,000 Americans every year going bankrupt because of medical bills, 30,000 people dying while the health care industry makes tens of billions of dollars in profit. Five minutes away from here, John, is a country called Canada. They guarantee health care to every man, woman and child as a human right. They spend half of what we spend and, by the way, when you end up in a hospital in Canada, you come out with no bill at all,” Sanders said.

“I’m right about this,” Delaney responded. “We can create a universal health care system to give everyone basic health care for free, and I have a proposal to do it, but we don’t have to go around and be the party of subtraction and telling half the country with private health insurance their health insurance is illegal. My dad — the union electrician — loved the health care he got from the IVW. He would never want someone to take that away. Half of Medicare beneficiaries now have Medicare Advantage, which is private insurance or supplemental plans. It’s also bad policy to underfund the industry … ”

“What I’m talking about is really simple. We should deal with the tragedy of uninsured and give everyone health care as a right, but why do we gotta be the party of taking something away from people?” Delaney continued. (RELATED: Trump Administration Could Fine Hospitals For Failing To Disclose Insurance-Negotiated Prices)

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren also piled on top of Delaney, audibly saying “no” as he critiqued Medicare for all until Tapper reminded her she would get to say her piece later.

“I’m the only one of the stage who actually has experience in the health care business,” Delaney later said.

Delaney, a former member of Congress representing Maryland, was the first Democrat to jump into the 2020 race in July 2017.

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