With the repeal of Obamacare basically inevitable and looming before us most ominously, Republicans are celebrating. Fortunately, there are a growing number of Republicans who can agree with fellow Democrats that repealing Obamacare without a replacement is a costly idea. Sen. Bernie Sanders is one of those Democrats who can agree with that.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, Sen. Sanders had strong words for Republicans who support repealing Obamacare without a replacement plan in place. He spoke in length saying:
‘I think it is basically insane to come up with a plan that throws 20 million Americans off of health insurance, moves towards the privatization of Medicare, raises prescription drug costs for seniors, and does away with patient protection acts like preexisting conditions that are enormously important without any alternative. A rational approach would be to see how we can work together to improve the Affordable Care Act, not junk it with no alternative in place.’
After noting the fact that Republicans rule the Senate and a Republican will be in the Oval Office, he asked Sanders if Democrats should have an alternative fix or if they should just let Republicans run with it. Sanders answered:
‘What a rational approach is, you sit people down together and you say, “What are the problems? Let’s go forward and rectify it. Let’s make sure that all our people have health care as a right, that we don’t pay the highest prices in the world.” Go forward together.’
Recently, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton even voiced that there should be a replacement ready to go when Obamacare is repealed saying, “When we repeal Obamacare, we need to have the solution in place moving forward.” And if they can’t agree on anything else, Sen. Sanders said he agrees with Sen. Cotton.
‘But I think Sen. Cotton is right. You cannot simply throw something out without having any alternative at all in place.’
He went on to say that their job right now is to guarantee healthcare to all people as a right. He also added that they needed guts to fight the private insurance companies and drug companies for “ripping” Americans off “every single day.”
He went on to say that Trump appealed to the masses because he was not a “run-of-the-mill Republican.” He said he hoped Trump was sincere in his promises to the people and that now is the time for him to stop the cutting of Social Security. He said he hoped he had “the integrity to do that.”
He also expressed he doesn’t believe Trump is shaming companies and has the right to say to major corporations to keep it in America or face tariffs. He even said he applauded Trump for this. He did, however, express you can’t have “policy by tweet company by company,” and he hopes Trump is prepared to work with them.
He then went on to express his ideas on what the Democratic Party needs to do to reach out to the people they have so alienated. He said,
‘I think it is important that the Democratic Party begins to get itself outside of Capitol Hill and gets back in the communities and street corners of America… I think it is terribly important we begin to work together with communities all over this country, working people, the unions, senior citizen groups, physicians groups, and make it clear that the American people will not accept horrific cuts to Medicare, to Medicaid, will not allow seniors to pay more for prescription drugs.’
You can check out the interview below.
Featured image via Getty Images / Alex Wong.