Sanders on Delaney Calling 'Medicare For All' Political Suicide: "You're Wrong"

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CNN: During CNN's 2020 Democratic primary debate in Detroit, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spars with former Rep. John Delaney over "Medicare for All."

JAKE TAPPER, CNN: Let's start the debate with the number-one issue for Democratic voters, health care. And Senator Sanders, let's start with you. You support Medicare for all, which would eventually take private health insurance away from more than 150 million Americans, in exchange for government-sponsored health care for everyone.



Congressman Delaney just referred to it as bad policy. And previously, he has called the idea "political suicide that will just get President Trump re-elected." What do you say to Congressman Delaney?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: You're wrong.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

Right now, we have a dysfunctional health care system: 87 million uninsured or underinsured, $500,000 -- 500,000 Americans every year, going bankrupt because of medical bills, 30,000 people dying while the health care industry makes tens of billions of dollars in profit.

Five minutes away from me and John is a country, it's called Canada. They guarantee health care to every man, woman and child as a human right. They spend half of what we spend. And by the way, when you end up in a hospital in Canada, you come out with no bill at all. Health care is a human right, not a privilege. I believe that, I will fight for that.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator Sanders.

Congressman Delaney?

FMR. REP. JOHN DELANEY: Well, I'm right about this. We can create a universal health care system to give everyone basic health care for free, and I have a proposal to do it. But we don't have to go around and be the party of subtraction, and telling half the country, who has private health insurance, that their health insurance is illegal.

My dad, the union electrician, loved the health care he got from the IBEW. He would never want someone to take that away. Half of Medicare beneficiaries now have Medicare Advantage, which is private insurance, or supplemental plans. It's also bad policy. It'll underfund the industry, many hospitals will close...

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman.

DELANEY: ... and it's bad policy.

TAPPER: Senator Sanders, I want to -- I...

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: (?): My name was also mentioned in this.

TAPPER: We're going to come to you in one second, but let me go to Senator Sanders right now.

Senator Sanders?

SANDERS: The fact of the matter is, tens of millions of people lose their health insurance every single year when they change jobs or their employer changes that insurance. If you want stability in the health care system, if you want a system which gives you freedom of choice with regard to a doctor or a hospital, which is a system which will not bankrupt you, the answer is to get rid of the profiteering of the drug companies...

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

SANDERS: ... and the insurance companies, move to Medicare for all.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Congressman Delaney?

DELANEY: But now he's talking about a different issue. What I'm talking about is really simple. We should deal with the tragedy of the (ph) uninsured and give everyone health care as a right. But why do we got to be the party of taking something away from people?

WARREN: No. No one is the party...

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Hold on one second, Senator.

DELANEY: That's what they're running on. They're running on...

WARREN: No.

DELANEY: ... telling half the country that your health insurance is illegal. It says it right in the bill.

TAPPER: All right, thank you.

DELANEY: We don't have to do that. We can give everyone health care...

TAPPER (?): OK.

DELANEY: ... and allow people to have choice. That's the American way.

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman.

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