tv Senator Sanders Unveils Medicare for All Bill CSPAN September 14, 2017 1:12am-2:15am EDT
and more about free speech. ofhy o'neill on her book weapons of mass destruction." coverage of thee brooklyn book festival on sunday starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span2's "tv." "book tv." announcer: a group of 15 senators led by bernie sanders have endorsed a single-payer health care system called medicare for all. where the medicare program would be expanded to make all americans eligible. the bill's backers unveiled their proposal at this hour long briefing.
sen. sanders: let me thank all of you for being here this afternoon. let me thank our special guests, the media likes to talk about the politics of this event, who is supporting it and why and its impact and blah, blah, blah. but the american people want to know what we will do to fix this dysfunctional health-care system that cost us twice as much per person compared to any other country, but leaves 28 million people uninsured and even more underinsured. that is what the market people -- the american people want to know in terms of what we are doing. and that is what we will be talking about today. [cheers and applause]
sen. sanders: and i want to tell you, i want to tell you that i am just very excited about the kind of support that are medicare for all legislation is receiving all across this country and right here in the united states senate. as of today, we now have 16 cosponsors on this legislation. [applause] [applause] and in order of seniority, because that is the protocol here in the senate, let me mention all of the cosponsors. senator pat leahy, sheldon , jeannese, tom udall shaheen, jeff merkley, al ,ranken, kirsten gillibrand duke blumenthal, brian schatz, happy baldwin, elizabeth warren, martin heinrich, daisy corona, senator ed markey, cory booker,
and senator harris of california. [applause] sen. sanders: and we also have dozens of grassroots organizations all across america who are going to help us pass this bill. up to begin by bringing the podium some folks who have enormous experience professionally and personally in terms of health care. and they are going to explain to us, and to the many people watching us on live stream, as to why we need to move to a medicare for all system. pediatriciane a from southeast washington dc and an assistant professor of pediatrics at the george washington university school of medicine.
dr. sriram. [applause] dr. sriram: good afternoon. , and i am dr. sriram a pediatrician and southeast washington, d.c.. for seven years i have care for a patient i will call sean. i met him when he was 13, newly diagnosed with type one diabetes and still adjusting to checking his blood sugar and doing insulin injections. i earned his trust because i never judged when he had setbacks and i always kept it real. sugarcoating is not recommended for diabetics. [laughter] dr. sriram: together we have made his diabetes and his mental health issues manageable conditions that he controls, rather than his conditions controlling him. he is now 20 years old, a graduate of a rigorous vocational skills program, and
eager to get a job. two months ago, sean told me he wanted to look for work in virginia. but then he would not have medicaid like he does now. his mother has become a friend of mine and i recently learned that her health is struggling. she will not be eligible for medicare for at least 10 years and none of her three jobs come with health insurance. fortunately, she lives in washington dc and she qualifies for medicaid. but if she lived in her home state of texas she would be uninsured. sean and his family are like hundreds of patients that i see in southeast washington dc, like millions of patients that community physicians see every day across america. i greatly appreciate how the affordable care act has made life easier for sean and his family. but their experiences highlight ongoing problems with their health care system.
uninsured african-americans are twice as likely as white people to have no coverage if they live in states that have not expanded medicaid. too many women and low income families are stuck in this situation, working multiple jobs with no health benefits, or they are wondering if their health insurance premiums are worth the financial sacrifice. whatphysician, i know medicaid for all would mean for patients like sean and their families. it would mean we are finally making health care a basic human rights, no matter, what you earn no matter where you live and no matter what you look like. doctors like me and patients like sean, and mothers like his mom, have not worked our butts off to stay healthy and alive just for insurance companies depressed people out, or for politicians to play games with the basic human right of health care. when it comes to health policy,
a lot of people quote senator ted kennedy. but i want to echo his older brother. ago,is day, 55 years president john f. kennedy challenged americans to reach for the stars. today i am asking my fellow americans to reach for their hearts. medicare to build for all, we choose to build medicare for all now, and do the other things like cheaper prescriptions and reined in health care costs. not because they are easy, but because they are hard. because medicare for all will measure and organize the best of our energies and skills to improve american health care. because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one that we are unwilling to postpone, and one that we intend to win. thank you. [applause] >> good job. >> well done. dr. sriram: thank you. [applause] sen. sanders: thank you.
camacho is aon nurse at a major hospital in northern california. she is a member of the california nurses association national nurses united. melissa? [applause] ms. johnson-camacho: like bernie was a saying, senator sanders. my name is melissa johnson camacho and i have been a nurse for almost 10 years. i have been working hard with national nurses united and the california nurses association all across this nation. we are trying to make a more humane health care system. we want one that is based on patient needs and not pain and profit. i am here today because of my patients. i am here to advocate for them and for cancer patients, medicare for all would be crucial. it would be an indoor miss
relief. and for some it will mean the difference between life and death. most people do not realize that a cancer diagnosis is not just a very frightening diagnosis, but what comes with it is also financial devastation for far too many. and because of high deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses, we have tragic cases of people who do not even get to the treatment that they need. patients that i think about every day. one young woman still lives deep in my heart. her cancer had not cast aside and her lungs filled with fluid consistently. she needed to have the fluid drained in order to breathe and survive. i noticed she never completely emptied the bags, which meant that her lungs never were all the way clear. when i asked why, it was because
she could not afford to change the bags more than just once per day. these bags are very expensive and her insurance did not cover the full cost. she was never able to take a deep breath and she lived in constant distress and pain, struggling to breathe. and to make matters worse, the insurance policies in renewed. that meant her annual to dockable was in place -- deductible was in place and that she would have to pay the full amount of her medications and supplies until the deductible was meant. -- was met. that young woman spent the rest of her life in unnecessary stress. andcessary pain, unnecessary agony. she never again was able to take a full breath for the rest of her life.
and as far as i am concerned as a nurse, this is treatment denied. this is treatment that she needed and deserved. [applause] ms. johnson-camacho: thank you. thank you. to me it is a moral that anybody profits off of the need for health care. it is repugnant to me that this profit comes from denying care. i see the suffering and pain this causes every single day in the faces of my patients. this system is killing too many of my patients. and i say, no more. let's put an end to this system that is putting profits before patients' needs. registered nurses like me know that the only way we are going to do this is with medicare for all. i want to thank all of the senators cosponsoring this bill. and health care is a human rights. and we are going to make it happen. thank you. [applause] [cheers]
>> great job. sen. sanders: rebecca would is a mother and patient who is sharing her story with us of choosing between her daughter, charlie's treatment, and her own. rebecca? do you need help? come with us. [laughter] >> ok. rebecca and ii'm am from charlottesville, virginia. this is charlie. she is kind of bouncing around, as you may have seen, so i will send her to ben. [laughter] family's story begins like many. my husband and i met, graduated from college, got married, found employment and decided to start a family. our story diverges from the norm
at my child's birth. due to preeclampsia, my daughter was delivered via emergency c-section 10 hours into her 26th week of gestation. she weighed one pound, 12 ounces and was the size of my hand. my constant bedside vigil started because i did not want her to die alone. charlie was tough. after three months, she was well enough to come home. we thought it was over, but it was merely the end of the beginning for us. issues from her premature arrival appeared one after another. each one required treatments and a therapy. there was specialty formula, medications and formula thickeners. then she needed physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy. the list grew and it continues to grow to this day. charlie's determination and perseverance has served her well. she responded positively to therapy, ot gave her the use of
her hands, a good thing because she wants to be a doctor and a drummer. [applause] ms. wood: and she was able to run and jump, as you have all witnessed. and speech there be is why she can't talk and say -- can talk and say i love you. she has exceeded initial expectations, however it all came at a cost. i had to make impossible choices. should i pay for her therapy or my exorbitant asthma medication kobe? notces like these are impossible, i chose to pay for hers and go without mine. one day i needed inexpensive dental procedure. unfortunately, it was at the same time that a therapy payment was due. charlie's speech was a merging and it was afraid we would miss a window of opportunity for development if we missed the therapy. i put off my dental procedure. it cost me dearly.
due to the delay, an infection spread it throughout my mouth and a job. i went to the emergency room because the swelling was obstructing my airway. after a course of antibiotics, i was discharged. the next day i had all of my teeth pulled, the infection drained, and parts of my job taken away in a six-hour procedure under local anesthesia. i cannot afford to have it done under general anesthesia. i cried the entire ride home afterwards. stories like mine should not happen anywhere, but certainly not in our country. our health care system is broken. it is time that we look to single-payer health care as a ing that families are not faced with impossible choices like mine. [applause] sen. sanders: we are spending
almost 18% of our gdp on health care, twice as much per capita as any other country. health care for all is not only a moral issue, it is an economic issue. and we're going to bring up mr. richard master, who is the ceo and founder of scf industries, a multimillion dollar company in eastern pennsylvania. he will tell us why as a businessman he understands why the future of the country rests with medicare for all. richard? mr. master: thank you. good afternoon. it is wonderful to be here today. four years ago, i started an investigation. i wanted to find out why every year at renewal time my company faces double digit increases in health care premiums.
ensured $10 an hour to -- insure an employee with a family. we spent $2 million a year on insurance for a small group of employees. so i took a deep dive into the health care insurance industry in the united states, and i do not like what i found. every citizen in this country, regardless of their political leanings, must know the truth about this industry. it is a totally unnecessary middleman, whose very existence costs businesses a fortune and add the value -- adds no value. i produced a documentary care,""fix it health that presents the case in plain english. you should watch it. if you are not man enough, when you finish that one, watch the
second one. then you will really get mad. here is the story in a nutshell. insurance companies are the second one. you will really love that. nutshell.e story in a the insurance companies are drugng backroom deals with a manufacturers and pocketing the money. other industrialized countries get better health results at half of the price. the way we finance health care keeps wages flat and discourages businesses from hiring full-time employees and causes discrimination against employees in their 50's and at 17% of our 60's gdp, growing toward 18% and beyond in the 202o's. this poses a real existential threat to the american economy. warren buffett was right,
medical costs are the tapeworm of american economic competitiveness. economic competitiveness. bestceo, my job is defined practices that maximize efficiency. over the last four years i have joined groups of equally concerned business people, like business leaders transforming health care, and i have studied in depth the health care systems of other industrialized nations. there is no doubt, no doubt at all in my mind, that the best way to ensure the competitiveness of american business is with a single-payer health care system. [applause] mr. master: medicare deserves to be the single pair, it provides better results at lower prices
and lower cost to our society, with more satisfied customers than any other insurance company in the country. coverage to every citizen will improve both the health of our citizens and the health of our businesses. i applaud senator sanders. and the cosponsors for introducing this legislation, and for embracing this central idea. so-calledclear, the unfettered free market will never deliver the health care system that we need if we are to remain an economic superpower. [applause] mr. master: we have initiated a new campaign business initiative for health policies. and the aim of this is to
educate the public and lawmakers about the economic benefits of the single-payer system. i encourage every member of congress to leave their ideology at the door, and to work with us and within these fine senators to build a medicare for all system, to finance health care. thank you. sen. sanders: thank you very much. [applause] last, but very much not least, is dr. daniel martin. -- danielle martin. i think it is high time we started taking a look at what countries around the world were doing in providing quality care to all of their people in a far more cost-effective way than we do. one of the examples of a single-payer system that is working well, that is popular, is the canadian system. dr. martin is a canadian physician, health-care
administrator, and an associate professor at the university of toronto. she is the author of a canadian best selling book "better now, six ideas to improve health care for canadians." dr. martin? dr. martin: thank you. i am very grateful somebody americans are interested in learning about the experience of your canadian neighbors under our single-payer health care system, which we also call medicare. as a practicing doctor, a hospital administrator, and a citizen, i am so proud to be access tosystem where doctor and hospital services is truly based on need, not ability to pay. and i am not the only one. % ofublic polls, 94 canadians say that our health care system is a source of pride, even more than ice hockey. it is a symbol to us of what it
truly means to be canadian, that we take care of each other. my grandparents immigrated to canada in the early 1950's, like so many people that come to this country, hoping to build a better life for their kids. at that time there was no universal health care coverage in canada. so what my grandfather -- so when my grandfather had his first heart attack in his early 40's, his world was shaken. by the time he died nearly a decade later, his family was essentially bankrupted by medical bills. i know that this remains a reality for many in the united states today. but you should know that just north of your border, that kind of a situation is essentially unimaginable. my generation of canadians does not remember what it was like to worry about paying a doctor or a hospital bill. and despite our challenges, which of course every country
experiences, canadians have a longer life expectancy, lower infant mortality rates, and if you are preventable deaths than the united states. single-payer health care is also as a no less -- less than 2% in a public plans as compared to 18% in the private plans here in the u.s. we spent just under $5,000 per capita in canada to cover everyone. you spend nearly $10,000 per capita and yet tens of millions of people are uninsured. but most importantly, when my patients are sick, i do not need to ask if they have insurance, or if they can afford to pay for my services. andthroughout my pregnancy, for the birth of my daughter in a world class hospital, i was never asked for money and i never received a bill. i just handed over this card, my
canadian health care card, to my doctor and that was it. i wish all of my american neighbors could experience the same simplicity in their moment of need. and i hope the american people will see this opportunity to declare to each other, and to the rest of the world, that you do believe access to health care is a human right. thank you. [applause] [cheers] sen. sanders: thank you dr. martin. today, all of us stand before you and proudly proclaim our belief that health care in america must be a right, not a privilege. [applause] today, we begin
the long and difficult struggle to end the international disgrace of the united states, our great nation, being the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all of our people. as proud americans, our job is to lead the world on health care, not to be woefully behind every other major country. [applause] sen. sanders: today we begin the debate vital to the future of our economy, as to why it is in the united states we spend almost twice as much per capita on health care as any other nation on earth. and yet we have 28 million people without any health insurance, and even more for who are underinsured with
high deductibles. as a result of the couple waste, bureaucracy and profiteering in our dysfunctional health-care system, we are now spending nearly 18% of our gdp on health person.0,000 per incredibly, if we continue the status quo, we will spend an estimated $49 trillion over the next decade on health care. that is economically unsustainable for our country. today, we say the function of a rational health-care system is to provide quality care to all in a cost-effective way. and not to continue a system which allows insurance companies and drug companies to make hundreds of billions of dollars in profit each year.
and to make health care industry ceos extremely wealthy. heard this you have afternoon, the function of a good health-care system is to enable people to get the health care win they need -- when they need the health care, not to deal with an endless amount of paperwork and to spend hour after hour arguing with insurance companies about whether or not you have the coverage for the procedures that you need. the strength of the medicare for all program is not only its universality and its cost-effectiveness, it also has the complexity of a system that adds a norma's stress -- enormous stress at a time where people needed the least. today we say to those families in vermont, wisconsin, california and all across the country, who are spending
$10,000, 15 thousand dollars, $20,000 a year on health insurance, that we understand this is insane and unaffordable to be spending that much money simply to protect the well-being of your family. and we are here to tell those families, and people all across this country, that under medicare for all the average american family will be much better off financially than under the current system, because you will no longer be writing checks to private insurance companies. [applause] sen. sanders: while depending on your income, taxes may go up to pay for this publicly funded program, but that expense will
be more than offset by the money that you are saving by the elimination of private insurance costs. and today, we tell the drug companies that the american people are sick and tired of the greed, of the pharmaceutical industry. we will no longer be ripped off and pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. we will negotiate, we will negotiate lower drug prices for every single american. [applause] and today, today we tell the business community, especially small and medium-sized businesses, that we understand that you want to focus on your core business mission, not to spend countless hours worrying about how you will provide health insurance to your workers.
and medicare for all will allow you to do that because all of your employees, by right, will have comprehensive health care. today we say to millions of workers, that you should not have to be stuck in a job that you do not want just because it provides decent health care to your family. [applause] with health care as a right, you will finally have the freedom to do the work that you love and are passionate about, and our economy and our nation will benefit from. -- from that. [applause] sen. sanders: 52 years ago, 52 years ago president lyndon johnson signed historic legislation that said in the united states of america, if you are 65 or older, you will begin
indeed health care as a right -- you will be getting teed health care as a right. all medicare has been enormously successful. butake it for granted now, seniors in america are healthier, happier and more secure than before the passage of medicare. and today we tell our seniors that is good as medicare is, we have heard your concerns and for the first time we will expand coverage to include dental care, hearing aids, and vision needs. [applause] sen. sanders: now let us be honest. the crisis that we are discussing today is not really about health care. the crisis we are discussing today is a political crisis,
which speaks to me and critical power of the insurance companies, the drug companies, and all those who make billions of dollars off of the current system. over the years, these entities have done everything that they possibly can to prevent us from having lower-priced prescription drugs and universal health care. since 1998, the pharmaceutical industry alone has spent $3.6 billion in lobbying and hundreds of millions of dollars more in campaign contributions. and they charge us the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. thatly recognize legislation, that deals with 16 of the economy, and over $3
trillion is complex and nobody, including those of us who are up here now, have all the answers. unlike the republican leadership, which tries to pass massive and destructive health care legislation without one now ishearing, our job to take this legislation to every state in the country, and to hear what the people have to say. [applause] sen. sanders: unlike the republican leadership, we want to hear from doctors and hospitals and patient advocates and ordinary citizens, as to how we can make this bill even stronger and more effective. we want to hear from the american people as to the fair's ways that we can find -- f airest ways that we can fund
this program. to my republican colleagues, please do not lecture us on health care. and in the last few months, you the republican party have shown the american people what you stand for when you voted for legislation that would throw up to 32 million americans off of the health insurance they have, and at the same time give you tax breaks to the rich and large corporations. you, the republican party have no credibility on the issue of health care. [applause] let me conclude by telling you that i am extremely proud that we now have the support here in the senate of 16 senators, plus myself, and a whole lot of folks in the house
of representatives. and importantly, importantly, we also have the strong support of dozens and dozens of grassroots organizations and trade unions representing the working people of this country. that this as we know, is struggle will ultimately not be one -- won here on capitol hill, but through the grassroots activism of millions of americans who are standing up and fighting back. who are becoming more engaged politically. and when we all stand together, we are going to be able to take on the insurance companies and the drug companies, and wall street, and everybody else. and to do what we should have -- what we should have done decades ago and finally
guarantee health care to all americans as a right. [applause] senator jeff merkley of oregon. merkley: we have the most incredibly complex system of health care. exchange,medicare, on often exchange. children's health insurance program. anyhe course of that, for american, it is a lifetime of stress, a lifetime of trying to figure out how to negotiate this process with one simple goal, that when your loved one gets sick, they will get the care they need, when your child gets injured, they will get the care they need, and you won't end up
bankrupt. is the current system acceptable? >> no. sen. merkley: are we willing to fight to change it? >> yes. merkley: there are people out there who are afraid that, when they get that additional couple hours a week, they won't qualify anymore. then they have an employer who says they will pay their health care but only if they pay in a large amount of money. inefficient,ul, ineffective, and we can do far better with medicare for all. mind that when your child gets sick, you won't go
bankrupt. all of the people in organizations working to make this happen. sanders: sen. peters: gillibrand, new york -- senator kirsten gillibrand, new york. >> the bottom line is this. our democracy only works when regular people stand up and demand action. you here to all of today, fighting for medicare for all your after year. as i traveled around my state, one of the top concerns is that health care is still too expensive. too many insurance companies continue to value profits more than the value of the people they are supposed to be helping. it is time for something better and i'm thrilled to announce sanders'sport senator
medicare for all bill. [applause] one part of the bill that i worked with my colleagues to put in was the ability for every american to buy into a not-for-profit public option as part of a four-year transition to get to single-payer in this country. affordablecreate .ublic health care when i called for a not-for-profit public option during my first house race in 2006, in a two to one republican district, it became very clear to me that this is not a partisan issue. health care should be a right, not a privilege, once and for all. i will be standing with bernie and i hope all of you to make sure that every single american gets access to affordable, good quality health care with a single-payer system in america.
thank you. [applause] sanders: senator elizabeth warren, massachusetts. it is wonderful to be here with you today but we have to remember, the only reason we are here is because millions of people across this country made their voices heard. they believe that health care is a basic human right worth fighting for, and that is why we are here today. thank you all. job, ifore i had this had another job where i used to do a lot of work about trying to understand what was happening with working families across this country. why so many people were going broke. studies i principal did along with my co-authors was to introduce an idea called medical bankruptcy, the fact that hundreds of thousands of hard-working people across this
country were filing for bankruptcy in the aftermath of serious medical problems. here was the real shocker in our data -- three out of four of them had health insurance at the onset of the illness or accident that led to their bankruptcy. that is wrong. today, it is an enormous honor to stand with each of you, to say, never again in america does anyone go bankrupt just because they got sick. never. [applause] this has been a long fight, from franklin roosevelt, who wanted health care for all as part of social security, to lyndon johnson, who gave us both medicare and medicaid, to ted kennedy, who made sure that our children were
insured,with -- were to barack obama, who helped build the game changer that give -- that gave millions of americans new health care coverage. we are here today to take another step. in our not back down protection of the affordable care act. we will defend it at every turn. but we will go further. that,l go further and say within this country, everyone gets a right to basic health care. ist's what medicare for all all about, and that's why we're here. [applause] sen. warren: so that's our argument. everyone gets covered, no one families, innd some of the toughest moments in their lives, will not be left
alone. i want to say thank you to bernie for all that you have done. i am honored to be part of this fight, to have a chance to stand , healthay one more time care is a basic human right and we fight for basic human rights. thank you all. [applause] sen. sanders: the senator from hawaii had to leave. the other senator from hawaii is here and we will get to that senator in a second. but let's bring out kamala harris of california. [applause] sen. harris: thank you, bernie. i'm honored to stand with my colleagues and be in a room full of leaders.
this is a moment in time that i think we know is a significant moment of time, where all of us are standing up and saying, let's just do what's right. you've heard so many folks talk about it. no baby in america is born as a democrat or republican. this should not be thought of as a partisan issue, not even a bipartisan issue. this is a nonpartisan issue. cancer, diabetes, high blood affects affects our -- folks around our country regardless of a red state, blue state, income, status. everyone understand should receive the health care they need regardless of where they live, their income, or their zip code. that is what this bill is about and i am proud to cosponsor it. it is about saying that this is about a right, not about a privilege for a few. let's be clear.
it is not only about what is the right thing to do morally and ethically, it's also smart in terms of the fiscal impact. taxpayers will benefit. our friends in the private sector talk about it all the time, if they are asking about, are they being efficient, effective? they ask that question with three letters, what is the roi, return on investment? the taxpayers of the united states deserve a better return on their investment. when you look at this situation, the public health model tells us, you want to deal with an epidemic, the smartest, cheapest way to do it is prevention first. early intervention -- the emergency room is too late and too expensive. let's give taxpayers a better return on their investment, which means medicare for all. medicare for all stands for the proposition that all americans,
from date of birth, throughout their lives, will have access to health care. it means understanding that the data tells us that somebody with high blood pressure, if they are receiving consistent care, information about what they should be eating, testing and monitoring their blood pressure, we know if we reduce that population of high blood -- population who has high blood pressure by 5%, taxpayers will benefit by $25 billion over the next five years. let's look at it in terms of the emergency room. if people resort to the only care they can get in an emergency room as opposed to monitoring on a regular basis with a physician that they know and trust, we are looking at, right now in the united states, $35.7 billion per year emergency room bills. it's a better return on investment for the american taxpayer.
that is why i'm proud to stand with my colleagues and friends and support medicare for all. [applause] cory here?s: is senator cornyn bunker of new jersey. senator cory booker of new jersey. sen. booker: i'm so proud to stand here today with my colleagues, with nurses, doctors, activists who understand the truth of our country. we were founded with incredible ideals but far short from a reality that reflected the spirit of this nation. every generation of our country has worked to expand access to our foundational ideals, that every american should of life, liberty, that we should have equal justice under the law, literally to for fill our pledge
that we are a nation with liberty and justice for all. died tot and people expand universal access to the ballot. tofought and people died expand universal access to civil rights. tofought and we struggled make sure every child had universal access to public education. when it comes to one of the most basic aspects of one of the , yous of life and liberty must include that every american has access to quality, affordable health care. [applause] and so, this is the fight for our nation to live up to our ideals. you cannot have justice in this country where you have millions of americans who cannot get access to basic health care because of the amount of money they make.
you cannot have liberty when millions of americans families are shackled and change to fear and illness and sickness because they can't afford the medication and can't afford to go see a doctor. thatannot have a nation professes to favor freedom if so many families feel the pain and the constriction of having to worry about affording their rent. meet theirle to basic needs of their families or pay to go to the doctor. so now more than ever, we have to understand that this is a defining moment of the character of our country. how can we, the greatest nation on the planet earth, have the most expensive health care system, approaching 20% of our
get health care outcomes anywhere near our competitor nations? it is interesting to me. me.t is embarrassing to i love my northern neighbor. it is embarrassing to me to have a canadian stand here in the capital of the united states of america and talk about a system that takes care of their children better than we take care of our children, our most valuable natural resource. we are leaving so many of our children in the insecurity and the pain and the agony of not having access to quality health care. i was getting a little competitive back here with some of the new yorkers and californians. let me just end with the words of one of the patron saints of new jersey, a man named bruce springsteen. he said we are a nation that
takes care of its own. cannot sit when australia or canada or england takes care of its citizens better than the united states of america. in this noble country, this country of love, compassion, and empathy, we have to stand up right now and say that we will be the symbol of hope and life and freedom and justice and liberty for all. [applause] sen. sanders: mazie hirono is a great senator from hawaii. thank you, bernie, aloha,oa -- and everybody. thank you for being here.
you represent the millions of people in our country for home health care should be a right and -- for whom health care should be a right and not a privilege. affordable, accessible, quality health care be available to all. in other words, universal health care. we are all one diagnoses away from a major illness. i found that out about four months ago when i was diagnosed four kidney cancer. thankfully, i had health care, so i could focus with my doctors about what kind of health care i needed rather than trying to figure out how i was going to to somenful choices as other obligations, fiscal obligations, economic obligations. that should not be in our country. health care as a right, not a privilege -- you heard so many wonderful speakers talking about the painful choices that they've
had to make in this great country of ours. therefore, i think about something that dr. martin luther king also said. i think he was paraphrasing someone who came before him. , andrc of history is long it bends toward justice. justice is health care as a right, not a privilege. just a few weeks ago, we were just one vote away from taking away health care from millions of people in our country. we were that close. we know that we're going to have to keep on with this fight. it's not going to just happen because we are standing here united under the principle that health care is a right, not a privilege. the long road ahead is what is going to inform our actions over andnext number of months,
truly for us to achieve health care as a right, not a privilege, will require the millions of people out there who care as much as you all do, and for all of our families and every american citizen, and, i should mention, immigrants. 800,000d thousand -- daca recipients about to be deported, all of the people in this country should have health care as a right and not a privilege. [applause] sanders: richard blumenthal, senator from connecticut. sen. blumenthal: thank you, bernie. i think i may be the last speaker, and it isn't because i'm the best. here are a couple of simple truths. one, health care should
be a right, not a luxury. works.two, medicare how do i know it works? that's how i know it works. it works for millions of americans my age who remember what it was like historically -- i wasn't there, but historically, before there was medicare. tremendouss a historic advance. everybody, no matter what your age, how much you make, where you live, should have those same rights. , there's nothing novel original about this idea. in fact, every nominee for the president of the united states,
every democratic nominee from advocatedclinton single-payer health care insurance. the difference now is that we have a chance to achieve it. the reason we have a chance to achieve it is because of advocates like bernie sanders and elizabeth warren in my other colleagues here, who are going out and talking about it to the american people. , i'mi pledge to do is going to have hearings around the state of connecticut, my state of connecticut, and i'm going to give people in connecticut a chance to tell me what they think. i'm going to listen to them. i challenge my republican colleagues to do the same. go out there and ask people whether they are in favor of medicare for all. i guarantee you, you will get an earful. here's another basic truth.
cancer doesn't choose red states or blue states, it doesn't pick people according to their party registration at the polls, it is an equal opportunity killer disease -- equal opportunity killer. disease doesn't discriminate. i want to single out to groups of people. number one, the women of america. they have been denied health care for too long because of restrictions like the hyde amendment. amendmenthe hyde history if we passed medicare for all. -- if we pass medicare for all. and, to our colleagues who talk a lot about the opioid epidemic, there are millions of americans who will be awake tonight, worrying about their spouses, their children, their loved
ones, their friends, their coworkers who want or need treatment, and they won't get it now. they will under medicare for all. they need it, they deserve it. health care should be a right, not a luxury. is as to this basic right american as our flag. we are the greatest country in the history of the world. we owe it to ourselves and our children to make sure we have medicare for all. thank you. [applause] sen. sanders: i want to thank all of our guests, who traveled here today to talk about the need for medicare for all. all of my colleagues here in the senate and our friends over in the house and, mostly, the american people. here is the simple truth. our opponents on this issue have the money and they have the
power. but, if millions of people across this country stand up, get involved in the political process, and fight back, i have no doubt, none whatsoever, that this nation, sooner than people believe, will in fact pass a medicare for all single-payer , health carenally will be a right for all in the united states of america. thank you all very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
floor and there must've have been 100 police in the basement that morning. >> watch our interviews on oral history on c-span three. trump invited a bipartisan group to discuss his agenda. here is the president's remark at the beginning of the meeting. this group knows that well. whether we can do the incredible