Bernie Sanders Says ‘Get Rid of the Insurance Companies,’ Won’t Support Anything But Medicare For All


Independent Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders threw down some major markers on health care, saying he wants to “get rid of the insurance companies,” and that he would not support any Democratic health care legislation other than his own Medicare for All plan.

On Tuesday night’s edition of All In with Chris Hayes, Sanders slammed the Trump Justice Department’s decision to try and completely invalidate Obamacare in the courts, and promised host Chris Hayes that “I’m going to do everything I can to tell the American people, including the many people who voted for Trump, that he is an absolute fraud” on the issue of health care.

But then, Hayes asked Sanders if he would support a new Democratic House bill to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, and Sanders bluntly responded “No, I support the Medicare for All single payer program.”

“Wait, wait, I just want to be clear,” a stunned Hayes interrupted. “So you don’t support that incremental reform?”

“No,” Sanders said. “The incremental reform I support is Medicare for All,” Sanders added, and described the four-year transition period for his legislation.

“But I just want to be clear about this,” Hayes said, still visibly shocked, “so if that House bill were to come to the Senate, you would vote against it right now?”

Sanders did not directly answer that question, but indicated that he would only support his own legislation.

Hayes then asked if Sanders would support a different approach to achieving universal coverage, like the Medicare for America bill that introduces Medicare as a public option. “Why not slide towards the system in an optional way?” Hayes asked.

“Because ultimately, we have to recognize that current system is incredibly dysfunctional and wasteful,” Sanders said. “Its goal is to make profits for the insurance companies and the drug companies. You are not going to be able, in the long run, to have cost-effective universal health care unless you change the system, unless you get rid of the insurance companies,  unless you stand up to the greed of the drug companies and lower prescription drug costs.”

As Hayes alluded to in the interview, though, Sanders has supported incremental health care reform in the past, and even supported a Senate bill that was substantially similar to the one the Democrats rolled out this week.

Watch the clip above, via MSNBC.

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