(Host) Senator Bernie Sanders says it’s critical for supporters of a federal, single payer health care system to keep the issue in front of voters in the coming years.
Sanders has just introduced legislation that creates a "Medicare for all" health care plan. He says he understands that the bill doesn’t have much of chance in the current Congress. But he thinks there will come a time when the issue will gain majority support:
(Sanders) "I’m not holding my breath and thinking that the United States Congress is going to pass a Medicare for all single payer program now. But I think it is terribly important that we maintain the vision where this country will someday come to and that is that health care is a right for all people. Whether you’re rich, whether you’re poor, you are entitled to the best quality health care that the system can offer."
(Host) Sanders says a key provision of his bill calls for individual states, and not the federal government, to administer the health care program:
(Sanders) "What we are saying to our Republican friends is, they go around telling everybody how they hate the federal government, they don’t want the federal government involved in all sorts of important issues. So we’re saying, ‘okay, let the states do it – let the states be laboratories for democracy, the states work out their own particular problems – understanding that Vermont is different from California, different from Texas and we hope to gain support on that principle."
(Host) Sanders says his legislation offers the best opportunity to control health care costs by reducing many of the administrative expenses in the current private insurance market.