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Bernie Sanders Responds to Kamala Harris’ Criticism of His Medicare for All Plan

Independent Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders responded to Kamala Harris’ pledge not to raise middle-class taxes to fund “Medicare for All,” which she contrasted with Sanders’ plans to fund the program.

On Wednesday afternoon’s edition of CNN Newsroom, anchor Ana Cabrera interviewed Sanders, and asked him to respond to several implicit criticisms from Harris about Sanders’ health care plan.

After Sanders spoke about the transition period for Medicare for All, which under Sanders’ plan would last four years, Cabrera played video of Harris disagreeing with Sanders on that point, and on the tax increases that would be needed to fund the program.

“I think it’s going to have to take more than that, to be honest with you,” Harris said of the transition period, in an interview that aired Tuesday night on CNN, and added that her plan would be accomplished “without a middle class tax hike, yes.”

“She says under her Medicare for All plan, the middle class won’t pay more taxes,” Cabrera said, and asked, “I know under your plan they will, right?”

“Well let’s be clear, let’s be clear, this is going to be the Republican talking point, and let me respond to it,” Sanders said. “Right now, people are paying taxes for health care, it is called premiums. It is called co-payments. It is out of pocket expenses.”

Sanders then explained, at length, that although “under a public healthcare system, Medicare for All, of course taxes would go up,” that burden would fall more heavily on “the wealthy and the top 1%,” working class people would end up paying less for health care overall.

“Is Senator Harris then being forthcoming or realistic when she says middle class taxes won’t have to go up to pay for Medicare for All?” Cabrera asked.

Sanders replied that “we have given options in our proposal,” and that “my guess is that people in the middle class will be paying somewhat more in taxes, but they’re going to be paying significantly less overall in healthcare.”

“But let us be clear right now, if you consider premiums, as I do, a tax, the working class of this country is very heavily taxed, and we will lower that burden,” Sanders said.

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

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