Bernie Sanders Disappears $30 — $40 Trillion ‘Medicare for All’ Price Tag in New Interview


Independent Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders refused to give a cost estimate for his “Medicare for All” plan in a recent interview, even though he had already pegged the cost at $30 to $40 trillion in an earlier interview — with the exact same reporter.

In a recent interview with The Washington Post‘s Robert Costa, for a piece touting the “ascendant” Sanders campaign, Bernie was asked about the cost for his health care plan, but declined to give specifics:

“I don’t give a number and I’ll tell you why: It’s such a huge number and it’s so complicated that if I gave a number you and 50 other people would go through it and say, ‘Oh . . .” he said, his voice trailing off.

“What I appreciate more now than I did four years ago is the cruelty of the system,” Sanders said. “Last time I talked about health care as a human right … but what I see now is the cost of health care.”

Costa wrote that “Sanders has declined to specify how much it would cost to implement his Medicare-for-all plan,” but that’s not exactly, or even approximately, true. Sanders has talked about the tens of trillions of dollars his plan would cost, including in a July interview with Costa himself.

“Vice President Biden said his plan would cost $750 billion over 10 years, you’re talking to a lawmaker January 2021 and they say ‘Senator give me a number, Medicare for All, an approximate number, how much would it cost?'” Costa asked Sanders during a July 17 Washington Post Live interview.

“Somewhere between $30 and $40 trillion over a 10-year period,” Sanders replied, then added “which is much less expensive, let’s talk about costs. What the most serious economists tell us that if we do nothing to fundamentally change the healthcare system, which is what Joe is talking about, we will be spending something like 50 trillion dollars over a 10-year period. I don’t think there’s a study out there that does not suggest that Medicare for All is far less expensive than the continuation of the current system.”

What has changed in the meantime — aside from Costa’s memory, apparently — is that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren released a series of detailed plans on paying for her own health care plan, and concurrently saw herself plunge in the polls.

But Warren’s polling troubles didn’t begin when she released her plans. although they did worsen. The slide began when the media began putting pressure on Warren to explain how she’d pay for her plan, pressure that Sanders has yet to face.

Watch the full exchange above via Washington Post Live.

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