Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) defended Medicare for All from criticism at the second Democrat presidential debate on Tuesday, saying that United States should emulate Canada on universal healthcare.
Sanders was asked at the outset of the debate, hosted by CNN, to respond to criticism from former Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) and other moderate Democrats who have alleged the program is “political suicide.”
“Right now, we have a dysfunctional healthcare system,” Sanders said. “Eighty-seven million uninsured or under insured. Five hundred thousand Americans every year going bankrupt because of medical bills. Thirty thousand people dying while the healthcare industry makes tens of billions of dollars of profit.”
Sanders, who authored the Medicare for All bill circulating in Congress, proceeded to argue that U.S. should look towards Canada as model for universal healthcare.
“Five minutes away from here is a country, its called Canada,” he said. “They guarantee healthcare to every man, woman, and child as a human right … healthcare is a human right, not a privilege.”
“I believe that, I will fight for that,” Sanders added.
Studies have shown that Medicare for All, which as proposed is significantly more lavish than the universal health systems of most foreign nations, is estimated to cost upwards of $30 trillion dollars.