Graham at CNN Debate: Medicare For All Will End Being Medicare For Nobody


Sen. Lindsey Graham delivers closing remarks at a CNN-sponsored debate on health care Monday night. Graham and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) faced off against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). Transcript, via CNN:

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC) We end where we began. Obamacare is failing, and I don't see a solution other than just throwing more money at insurance companies. I'm not going to do that. Do you get that? I'm not going to do it. Forty-five percent of the counties in this country have one provider. Forty-five counties have no choice. It gets worse over time, not better.

Here is the idea. Take the same amount of money that you're going to spend on a bureaucrat that never knows your name and give it to the people you can vote for in your state with guardrails, focusing on you as an individual and your state as a unique place, and I bet you a dollar you'll get better outcomes because it worked with welfare reform.

And I bet you this: My good friend, Bernie, Obamacare is a placeholder for Berniecare. Berniecare is socialism full-born. He's a nice man, but if you want Medicare for all, you're going to wind up with Medicare for nobody. You'll have a card without a real choice. Don't consolidate all your hopes and dreams for your family into the arms of the federal government, because it's not going to work.

I'd just end with this. We're going to go one of two ways in this country. We're going to create a future for our children that they can actually afford. We're going to deal with a $20 trillion debt or we're going to pass it on to somebody else. And driving the debt is Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and interest on the debt. Somebody needs to deal with this. I choose to be that somebody.

Medicaid is a program we're saving, but it's highly inefficient, and we need to match it up with a sustainable growth rate, not cut it, and give people flexibility to run it better than they have today.

So all I can tell you about this fight, it's just beginning. And to my friends on the other side, every group you cited told you that Obamacare would work. Every insurance company is against this bill, and if I were them, I'd be against it, too, because we take money from them and we give it to the state government to help you.

And all these other organizations, you don't think they'll have a voice in your state? You don't think somebody in your state will listen to them? This is not about -- this is not about caring. This is about changing things while we still have a chance, because 10 years from now, if we don't fix it today, it's going to collapse, and God help us all.

Full transcript of the debate here.

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