Bernie Sanders on Healthcare: The United States Is Not A Compassionate Society

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Sen. Bernie Sanders grills Rep. Tom Price, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to lead the Deparment of Health and Human Services, over his opinion on healthcare as a human right.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: The United States of America is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee healthcare to all people as a right. Canada does it, every major country in Europe does it.

Do you believe that healthcare is a right of all Americans, whether they are rich or poor? Should all people, because they are Americans, be able to go to the doctor when they need to -- Be able to go to the hospital, because they are Americans.

REP. TOM PRICE: Yes. We are a compassionate society--

SANDERS: No we are not a compassionate society. In terms of our relationship to poor and working people, our record is worse than virtually any other country on Earth. We have the higest rate of childhood poverty of any major country, and half of our senior older workers have nothing set aside for retirement, so I don't think compared to other countries we are particularly compassionate.

My question is: In Canada. In other countries, all people have the right to healthcare. Do you believe we should move in that direction?

PRICE: If you want to talk about other countries' healthcare systems, there are consequences to the decisions that they have made, just as there are consequences to the decisions that we have made. I look forward to working with you to make sure that every single American has the highest quality care and coverage that is possible.

SANDERS: 'Has access to' does not mean that they are guaranteed healthcare. I have access to buying a $20 million home. I don't have the money to do that.

PRICE: And that is why we believe it is appropriate to give every person the financial feasibility to purchase the coverage they want for themselves and their family. Not what the government forces them to buy.

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