Bernie Sanders to Biden: You Must Defend Why We Have 87 Million Uninsured and Underinsured People Today

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Democratic candidate for president Sen. Bernie Sanders admonished former Vice President Joe Biden at Thursday's Democratic presidential debate on ABC News and told him he needs to explain why 87 million people are uninsured under the health care plan he supports.

FMR. VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Fifteen seconds. Look, everybody says we want an option. The option I'm proposing is Medicare for all -- Medicare for choice. If you want Medicare, if you lose the job from your insurance -- from your employer, you automatically can buy into this. You don't have -- no pre-existing condition can stop you from buying in. You get covered, period.



And if you notice, nobody's yet said how much it's going to cost the taxpayer. I hear this large savings, the president thinks -- my friend from Vermont thinks that the employer's going to give you back if you negotiated as a union all these years, got a cut in wages because you got insurance. They're going to give back that money to the employee?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT): As a matter of fact, they will in our bill.

BIDEN: Well, let me tell you something. For a socialist, you've got -- for a socialist, you've got a lot more confidence in corporate America than I do.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: Senator Sanders?

SANDERS: OK, one minute, George?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Go ahead.

SANDERS: All right. Two points. You got to defend the fact that today not only do we have 87 million people uninsured and underinsured, you got to defend the fact that 500,000 Americans are going bankrupt. You know why they're going bankrupt? Because they suffered a terrible disease -- cancer or heart disease.

Under my legislation, people will not go into financial ruin because they suffered with a diagnosis of cancer. And our program is the only one that does that.

BIDEN: I know a lot about cancer, let me tell you something. It's personal to me. Let me tell you something. Every single person who is diagnosed with cancer or any other disease can automatically become part of this plan. They will not go bankrupt because of that. They will not go bankrupt because of that. They can join immediately.

And we're talking four, six, eight, ten years, depending on who you talk about, before we get to Medicare for all. Come on. I've been there. You've been there. You know what it's like. People need help now, hope now, and do something now.

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