Ocasio-Cortez Admits Bernie Sanders Can’t ‘Wave a Magic Wand’ to Make Medicare for All a Reality

DURHAM, NEW HAMPSHIRE - FEBRUARY 10: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-N.Y) speaks before introducing Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to the stage during his campaign event at the Whittemore Center Arena on February 10, 2020 in Durham, New Hampshire. The state's Democratic primary is tomorrow. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty …
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) admitted this week that Medicare for All — one of the hallmark proposals offered by her candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) — may not become a reality, even if the socialist senator wins the Democrat nomination and takes over the Oval Office in 2021.

The Sanders surrogate admitted in an interview with HuffPost that Medicare for All might not become a reality, calling a public option the “worst-case scenario.”

“A president can’t wave a magic wand and pass any legislation they want,” Ocasio-Cortez told HuffPost:

Ocasio-Cortez ― one of the most outspoken advocates for Medicare for All ― said she thought voters understood there was an “inherent check” on the president’s ability to actually change things like our health care system. And she argued that the realities of governing were actually an argument for someone like Sanders, as he’d be able to push Democrats and resulting changes further left.

“The worst-case scenario? We compromise deeply and we end up getting a public option,” she continued.

“Is that a nightmare? I don’t think so,” she added.

Sanders has faced scrutiny for admitting that he would raise taxes on middle class Americans to pay for Medicare for All, which by some estimates could cost over $60 trillion over the next decade.

“Is health care free? No, it is not. So what we do is exempt the first $29,000 of a person’s income. You make less than $29,000, you pay nothing in taxes,” Sanders told late-night host Stephen Colbert last year.

“Above that, in a progressive way with the wealthiest people paying the largest percentage, people do pay more in taxes,” he added, stressing the absence of insurance premiums.

Sanders has since admitted that it is “impossible to predict” how much his Medicare for All plan would cost.


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