White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders slapped down the idea that Americans want single-payer health care, saying Sen. Bernie Sanders would be president if that was true.
‘The president as well as the majority of the country knows that the single-payer system that the Democrats are proposing is a horrible idea,’ she said Wednesday. ‘Not only does the president not support it, but America doesn’t support it or Bernie Sanders would be sitting in the Oval Office right now.’
Just up the road on Capitol Hill, Sanders was unveiling his single-payer health care plan, surrounding by Democrats who have ambitions in 2020 and beyond.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (left) suggested there was no appetite for single-payer health care because Sen. Bernie Sanders (right) didn’t make it out of the Democratic primary
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., arrives at an event on Capitol Hill to promote his new bill, which would provide health care to call
Sen. Bernie Sanders (center) was joined by a number of Democrats including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (far left) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (right) to debut the bill
‘You, the Republican Party, have shown the American people what you stand for when you voted for legislation that would throw up to 32 million Americans off of the heath insurance they have and, at the same time, give tax breaks to the rich and large corporations,’ Sanders said, taking aim at a GOP Senate health care plan that failed in July.
DEMOCRATS BACKING BERNIE
Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin
Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut
Cory Booker, New Jersey
Al Franken, Minnesota
Kirsten Gillibrand, New York
Kamala Harris, California
Martin Heinrich, New Mexico
Mazie Hirono, Hawaii
Patrick Leahy, Vermont
Ed Markey, Massachusetts
Jeff Merkley, Oregon
Brian Schatz, Hawaii
Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire
Tom Udall, New Mexico
Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts
Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island
‘You, the Republican Party have no credibility on the issue of health care,’ Sanders said, railing against the opposition party.
For the first time a substantial number of Democrats have his back, with 16 other Democratic senators signing on to a Medicare-for-all plan, according to Sanders’ office’s count on Wednesday afternoon.
Among them a handful of Democrats being pointed at as presidential material, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Al Franken, D-Minn., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Cory Booker, D-N.J. and Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
Over on the House side, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., has introduced a similar bill, which had garnered 117 co-sponsors as of Wednesday morning.
The bill introduced to the Senate today by the ex-presidential candidate would phase in government-run health care over four years.
At the start, children 18 and under would be enrolled in Medicare, while the minimum age for seniors, which is now 65, would decrease.
By year No. 3 Medicare eligibility would be 35. And then the gap between 18-year-olds and 35-year-olds would be closed by year No. 4.
‘I can’t think of anything worse than having government be more involved in your health care instead of less involved,’ Huckabee Sanders said from the podium today.
Pointing to Sanders she noted how he had pushed these ideas during the campaign.
‘They were rejected, not just by America, but by Democrats – he didn’t make it through the primary, he didn’t make it into the Oval,’ Huckabee Sanders said. ‘I think that’s a pretty clear indication of what America wants to see and it’s not a single-payer system.’
Instead President Trump indicated he would be willing to support an effort by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., which would repeal and replace Obamacare by getting rid of many of the subsidies and mandate and providing block grants to the states.
Trump sent out a statement earlier Wednesday applauding the senators’ effort.
‘As I have continued to say, inaction is not an option, and I sincerely hope that Senators Graham and Cassidy have found a way to address the Obamacare crisis,’ Trump said.