Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told a voter making $41,000 a year that he and people “in the middle of the economy” are “going to pay a little bit more in taxes” to fund his “Medicare-for-all, single-payer program,” which he maintained would save middle class families thousands a year by eliminating private health insurance premiums during Wednesday’s CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall.
Sanders was asked by Chris Brownell, “Senator Sanders, the first thing I hear about you is that you’re going to raise taxes on the middle class. I support my family on a salary of $41,000 a year. I’m wondering if you raise my taxes, how does that help me?”
He responded, “This is what we are going to do, the United States is the only major country on earth that doesn’t guarantee healthcare to all people, and we end up spending far, far more per capita on healthcare, as do the people of any other country, Canada, UK, France, whatever. What we are going to fight for, is a Medicare-for-all, single-payer program, which would provide comprehensive healthcare to your family, and every family in America. So, let me tell you what we do, we raise your taxes if you’re somewhere in the middle of the economy, about 500 bucks, but you know what we’re going to do? For healthcare, we’re going to reduce your healthcare costs by $5,000. So, you’re going to pay a little bit more in taxes, but you’re no longer going to have to pay private health insurance premiums. Now, I’ve been criticized for this, but I believe that healthcare is a right of all people, that we should not have these deductibles and co-payments. We should not be paying the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, and our Medicare-for-all program will guarantee comprehensive care to all people, and save middle class families some thousands of dollars a year.”
Brownell then stated, “I mean, if it saves me on health insurance premiums, I will gladly pay more taxes.”
Sanders added, “[S]ometimes people distort things. And I’ve had 30-second ads run against me years ago, Bernie is going to raise your taxes! But they forget to say, we’re going to do away with your private health insurance premiums. Bottom line here is, we spend almost three times more per person than the British, 50% more than the French. We can save substantial sums of money, and my Medicare-for-all system is funded in a very progressive way. Yes, you’ll pay a little bit more, but your health premiums will disappear.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett