Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) debate the cost of healthcare and Medicare for All at the ABC News debate on Thursday:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: Let me get to Congressman O'Rourke and then bring you -- go ahead, Mr. Vice President.
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.
STEPHANOPOULOS: 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.