Independent Senator Bernie Sanders:
We are going to try to at least give states the option to go forward and move toward a single-payer system. Whether it’s Vermont or somewhere else, if one state pulls it off it will spread around the country.
We also need a strong public option to provide competition for private insurance companies and to help bring down costs that are projected to double if we do nothing. The bill that passed the House has a public option that would only be available to 5 or 6 six million Americans. That’s nowhere near enough. We want a strong public option that is available to as many Americans as possible. I think it should be available to all Americans.
In the midst of all of this, you have tremendous pressure from the insurance companies, drug companies, medical equipment suppliers; all the guys who are making billions of dollars on health care today who really don’t want anything substantive to take place. So we are in a very interesting moment. I would hope from the grassroots of America people would tell Congress to do the right thing on this terribly important issue.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I) Vermont on the election, democracy, and what it is to be a Social Democrat: