Sen. Bernie Sanders is consistent. That’s a fact. Sen. Sanders started his part in this Senate hearing by forcing Republican nominee for Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price to say that he didn’t think Donald Trump would renege on supporting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Sen. Sanders then pushed hard on forcing Price to acknowledge that drug prices are a huge problem in our country because of our inability to negotiate with pharmaceutical prices on costs. Then Bernie, riding somewhere around 10 in intensity, turned the knob up to eleven and started in on affordable healthcare.
Sanders: Congressman Price, the United States of America is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee healthcare for people as a right. Canada does it, every major country in Europe does it. Do you believe that healthcare is a right of all Americans whether they are rich or they are poor? Should people, because they are Americans, be able to go to the doctor when they need to, be able to go into a hospital—because they are Americans?
Price: We are a compassionate society—
Sanders: —No we are not a compassionate society. In terms of our relationship to poor and working people our record is worse than virtually any other country. We have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any other major country on earth. And half of our senior older workers have nothing set aside for retirement. So I don’t think compared to other countries we are particularly compassionate. But my question is, in Canada, in other countries, all people have the right to get healthcare. Do you believe we should move in that direction?
Price: If you want to talk about other country’s healthcare systems, there are consequences tot he decisions they’ve made just as there are consequences to the decision that we’ve made. I believe, and I look forward to working with you, to make certain that every American has access to the highest quality care and coverage that is possible.
Bernie: ’Has access to’ does not mean they are guaranteed healthcare. I have ‘access to’ buying a ten million dollar home, I don’t have the money to do that.
This is what privatization means. You either have money or you die. Nothing is “free” for people who can afford for nothing to be “free.”