After the failure of the American Health Care Act in the House on Friday, Bernie Sanders is looking to capitalize in the Senate.
The Vermont Senator appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday with Dana Bash where he announced he will introduce a “Medicare-for-all” single payer bill with the hopes of getting to work with President Trump.
“President Trump, come on board. Let’s work together,” Sanders said. “Let’s end the absurdity of Americans paying by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.”
While one of the president’s main proposals on the campaign trail regarding health care was to allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines, the AHCA did not contain that provision.
Sanders was pleased to see the AHCA defeated before unveiling his single-payer proposal.
“It was a disastrous piece of legislation primarily designed to provide $300 billion in tax breaks for the top two percent, throwing 24 million people off of health insurance, raising premiums for older workers in a very, very significant way,” Sanders continued.
Over the course of Sanders’ candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president, he constantly ripped on Obamacare for its high deductibles and skyrocketing premiums. Bernie pushed Hillary Clinton further to the left on health care during the campaign to give people the option to buy into Medicare.
While President Trump has not explicitly stated that he’s in favor of single-payer health care, he has said to CBS’s Scott Pelley in September 2015 that he “wants to take care of everybody.”
Trump: “Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, ‘No, no, the lower 25 percent that can’t afford private. But—’”
Pelley: “Universal health care.”
Trump: “I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.”
Pelley: “The uninsured person is going to be taken care of. How? How?”
Trump: “They’re going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. And, you know what, if this is probably—”
Pelley: “Make a deal? Who pays for it?”
Trump: —the government’s gonna pay for it. But we’re going to save so much money on the other side. But for the most it’s going to be a private plan and people are going to be able to go out and negotiate great plans with lots of different competition with lots of competitors with great companies and they can have their doctors, they can have plans, they can have everything.”
So, while a single-payer plan proposed by Sanders would never fly under any other Republican administration or Republican-controlled House or Senate, it shows he’s got the audacity, or chutzpah, to bring Trump to the negotiating table.
Watch Bernie’s appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” below: