tv Road to the White House 2020 Sen. Bernie Sanders on Medicare for All CSPAN July 18, 2019 2:57pm-3:44pm EDT
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remarks from 2020 presidential democratic candidate bernie sanders and spoke about his medicare for all proposal yesterday at george washington yesterday. this is about 45 minutes. cheers and applause] senator sanders: let's make a political revolution. [cheers and applause] senator sanders: let me thank all of you for being here this afternoon to discuss one of the country,ses facing our
crisis that is on the minds of people all across the nation and let me thank the dozens of organizations throughout america who have supported my medicare for all bill and let me thank the tens of thousands ofdom tors and nurses and other health care professionals who understand that we cannot continue with the current dysfunctional health care system and let me thank the 14 co-sponsors of my legislation in the senate and the over 100 co-sponsors of similar legislation in the house. and mostly, let me take this opportunity to thank the american people, who increasingly understand that health care is a human right,
not a privilege. cheers and applause] senator sanders: and together, e come together to end the international embarrassment of the united states of america, our great nation, the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth, today we come together to end the embarrassment of america being the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to every man, woman and child. we will end that embarrassment. . it is not acceptable to me that we end up spending almost twice as much per capita on health care
as do the people of any other nation while at the same time our life expectancy continues to go down and our health care outcomes lag behind other major countries. frankly, i am sick and tired of talking to doctors who tell me about the patients who died you because they came into their offices too late because they ere uninsured or underinsured. and let us be honest and acknowledge that under the dysfunctional health care system we have today, 30,000 americans every year are dying because they don't go to a doctor when they should because they lack health insurance or they are underinsured with high
deductibles and high co-payments. this is the united states of america. 30,000 people a year should not be dying because they lack adequate health insurance. i am sick and tired of seeing working class families and small businesses pay far more for health care than they can ford to pay, and 530,000 americans declare bankruptcy each and every year because the cannot pay off of a hospital stay. 500,000 families go bankrupt. families should not be driven into financial ruin because someone in the family becomes
ill. think about that for a moment. people should not be forced into bankruptcy. for what reason? because someone in the family became ill, and we are going to end that stupidity and that augustliness. -- and that ugliness. [cheers and applause] senator sanders: i am sick and tired of hearing from americans who lost loved ones because they could not afford the unbelievably high cost of prescription drugs or hearing from constituents, often elderly people, who are cutting their prescription drug pills in half because they cannot afford the medicine they need. can you believe that in america
today people are dying because of the high cost of prescription drugs? and today, we announce loudly and clearly that we will no longer accept the greed of the pharmaceutical industry. [cheers and applause] in fact, later this month on the 28th, i'll be going to detroit, michigan you, and get on a bus with a number of people who have diabetes, and we are going to be taking that bus to windsor, ontario, and in windsor, ontario, we are .1 of buy insulin for the price that diabetic patients are charged in the united states.
so today, we tell the pharmaceutical industry, their greed is going to end, that under medicare for all, there will be a cap on what people will have to pay for medicine, and that we are going to significantly and underline the word significantly, lower prescription drug costs in america. we are tired of getting ripped off. [cheers and applause] i am tired of talking with people who are struggling with mental illness in this country who cannot afford the mental health counseling they desperately need. i am tired of talking and meeting with people whose teeth re rotting in their mouth, they can't find affordable
dental care. let me be very honest and tell you what i think many of you already know. the current debate over medicare for all has nothing to do with health care. we are not in a debate about which health care system is working well or which is better. nobody thinks that a system in which 80 million people or more have no health insurance or are underinsured is a good system. nobody i know thinks that when americans are paying the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs that that is a good system. what the debate that we are currently having in this campaign and all over this country has nothing to do with health care but it has everything to do with the greed and profits of the health care industry. [applause] nator sanders: what we are
talking about is a health care industry of the insurance companies, the drug companies, the medical equipment suppliers , wall street, entities that make tens and tens of billions of dollars every single year while ignoring and turning their backs on the needs of the american people. that is what this debate is about. this debate is about whether we maintain a dysfunctional system, which allows the big drug and health care companies to make over $100 billion in profit last year, $100 billion in profit last year while the top c.e.o.'s in the industry total 6 billion in compensation. all the while when one out of
five americans cannot afford to fill the prescription drugs that their doctors prescribe. now, i know i have a radical idea out there in thinking that the function of a rational health care system is to provide health care to all in a cost-effective way, not to make billions in profit for the drug companies and the insurance companies. [cheers and applause] are r sanders: what we lking about is the need to end a system in which, for example, just one example, the c.e.o. of the aetna insurance company received a golden arachute worth nearly $500
million after his company merged with c.v.s. health. $500 million for putting together a merger while elderly people in america lacked the financial resources to buy the hearing aids they need to fully participate in society. we have got to ask ourselves about whether we want to maintain a system that allows the former c.e.o. of jill add, a gentleman named john martin, to become a billionaire by charging $1,000 a pill for a help had tights c drug called sovaldi, that cost $1 to manufacture, $1 a pill to
manufacture. let us make no mistake about it. the struggle that we are now undertaking to guarantee health care to all americans as a right and substantially lower the cost of prescription drugs in america will be opposed by some of the most powerful special interests in our country, entities that have unlimited amounts of money. let me give you just one example, if i might. couple years ago, i was out in california working with folks who wanted to lower the cost of prescription drugs in that state. a modest proposal. it wasn't a very radical proposal, to tell you the truth. in opposition to that one ballot item, in one state in america, the pharmaceutical .ndustry spent $131 million
$131 million in one state to defeat one modest ballot item. in other words, the special interest in the health care industry have unlimited resources and they will use those resources in opposition to the medicare for all campaign. and we are talking about, not just the insurance companies and the drug companies, we're also talking about wall street and their power in the health care field. and let me make a prediction. tell you what you're going to be seeing in the coming months. you will be seeing these entities spending endless amounts of money on 30-second television ads tell you how terrible medicare for all is. you're going to see full-page magazine and newspaper 'tisments. you're going to -- newspaper advertisements. you are going to see radio ads,
and you are going to see a number of corporate entities come up with studies that will tell you why medicare for all is not the way to go. but let me just tell you that over 50 years ago when medicare in this country was passed, which means so much to the seniors of this country, the special interests did exactly the same thing. they lied. they spent huge sums of money. they talked about how america will lose its freedom, that we're moving to communism or whatever it may be. [laughter] senator sanders: some of you have heard that, yeah. well, they tried to do that over 50 years ago. they failed. and my friends, they are going to fail again. [applause] senator sanders: let me just say a word about the kind of
money. i want you to understand the kind of money that we are talking about. over the last 20 years, the insurance industry and pharmaceutical companies have spent more than $330 million in ampaign contributions and over $4 billion in lobbying to get congress to do its bidding. do you want to know why the united states is the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care at all? that's why. do you want to know that today you can walk into your pharmacy and find that the price of the medicine you've been using for 0 years has doubled or tripled because there's no law protecting consumers for the rates? that is why. the pharmaceutical industry, in addition to spending huge sums of money on campaign conthink
-- contributions and lobbying has hired some 1200 lob yisses, including the -- lobbyists, including the former leadership of both political parties. so it's not just campaign contributions. it is also an incredible amount of money going into lobbyists. just give you another example of what goes on here in washington, d.c. i found it quite interesting that billy, who was the republican congressman who wrote the bill to prevent medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices, went on, just coincidentally, no doubt, he was the chairman of the relevant committee who wrote the bill to prevent medicare from negotiating prices with the pharmaceutical industry, just coincidentally he went on to become the president and c.e.o. of pharma and received
over $11 million in compensation in 2010. that is how business is done here in our nation's capital. well, i have a different vision of what a rational health care system is all about. [cheers and applause] [laughter] senator sanders: instead of providing massive profits for the drug companies and the insurance companies and wall street, we must provide a health care system that provides quality health care to every man, woman, and child in this country in a cost-effective way. and that is -- [applause] senator sanders: and that is
precisely what medicare for all is all about. under the legislation that i have offered, every family in america would receive comprehensive coverage, all basic health care needs are covered, and in the process, middle-class families would save thousands of dollars a year by eliminating their private insurance costs as we move to a publicly funded program. the transition to the medicare for all program would take place over four years. in the first year, benefits to older people would be expanded hearing e dental care, aids, and eyeglasses. [applause] senator sanders: now, medicare
today is a very strong program and a very popular program for senior citizens in this country, but it does not provide all of the benefits that seniors need. the last that i heard, the ability to hear, the ability to see, the desire to have teeth in your mouth -- [laughter] senator sanders: is a health care issue. cheers and applause] senator sanders: and so today we say to seniors, that despite what you're hearing medicare for seniors being weakened, the truth is exactly the opposite. it will be strengthened by providing benefits that seniors today do not have. furthermore, in the first year, we are going to lower the eligibility age for medicare, 55. is now at 65, down to
[cheers and applause] senator sanders: and in that first year, we will provide overage for every child in america. [cheers and applause] senator sanders: in the second year, we will lower the eligibility age to 45. in the third year to 35, and by the fourth year, every man, woman, and child will be covered with comprehensive coverage through a medicare for all program. cheers and applause] senator sanders: you know, i want to say a word about this transition, because i get -- i hear over and over again from political opponents, from the industry, it can't be done.
stop and think about the year 1965 when medicare was first introduced. they did not have then the kind of technology that we have right now. they were developing a brand new program with all of the difficulty that that entails. so please do not tell me that 55 years later, with all of the technology that we have, that we cannot simply over a four-year period expand a successful program that is 55 years old. [applause] senator sanders: and there is a lot of cost, a lot of discussion about the cost of medicare. so let me be very clear in telling you that medicare for all will reduce -- let me
repeat -- reduce overall health care spending in our country ile lowering the number of uninsured and underinsured to zero. [applause] senator sanders: we accomplish this because medicare for all creates a system of health care insurance that is not designed to generate profits for insurance and drug companies. will be a system focused on delivering actual health care. [cheers and applause] senator sanders: now, i know that is a radical idea. imagine that a system to design, to improve health, to prevent disease rather than a system designed to make huge profits for the industry.
a medicare for all system will save lives. it will save money, and it will end the frustration and endless paperwork, denials and desperate fights with an insurance company to cover medically necessary medications and procedures. and it is not just doctors and nurses who are going nuts trying to argue with the insurance companies. it is ordinary americans who spend hour after hour on the telephone fighting to make sure that the benefits that they paid for were in fact fulfilled and paid for by the insurance companies. we're going to end that. the american people want a simple, straightforward system. [applause] senator sanders: medicare for l will fully eliminate insurance premiums. no more premiums.
no more deductibles, and no more co-payments. make no mistake about it -- because there's some confusion here -- these premiums and deductibles and co-payments are nothing less than taxes on the middle class. [applause] senator sanders: now, my republican friends and some others -- [laughter] senator sanders: seem to think that the american people hate paying taxes but they just loving paying insurance premiums. oh, my god. the insurance premium is here. what a wonderful day. oh, wow! [cheers and applause] senator sanders: let's celebrate! hey, another $2,000 a month for insurance and small businesses,
they love it, paying every month those insurance premiums. the truth of the matter is study after study has shown as a nation we will save substantial sums of money and the average middle-class money will save an estimated $3,000 each and every year on their health care bills. [cheers and applause] senator sanders: further, and very importantly, because there is a lot of misinformation getting out there on this as well, that unlike the current dysfunctional system, medicare for all allows people the freedom to choose any doctor, ny clinic, or any hospital without worrying about whether their provider is in network or not. [applause]
senator sanders: how many americans right now have a doctor that they would like to go to but they can't go to him or her because they're out of the network? if they want to go to that person, that doctor, they will have to pay a pretty penny. we end that. the american people should have a complete freedom of choice regarding the doctor, hospital, or clinic they want to go to. [cheers and applause] senator sanders: in addition, medicare for all will allow us to end the very serious problem of medically underserved areas. there are areas all over this country, urban and rural, where people who even if they have insurance are unable to get to see a doctor in a reasonable period of time. and just to give you an example of the irrationality and the
dysfunctionality of the current system, just to give you one of many examples, i was in philadelphia a few days ago rallying with the people of philadelphia to try to stop the closure of a hospital which has existed since the civil war days of this country. and hannaman hospital serves as a safety net. it's mostly for lower-income people. 2/3 of the people who use the emergency room there are people of color. now, why is there an effort to close that hospital? what is the rationale behind it? and everybody understands the answer. the answer is that the hospital, unbelievably, is now banker an investment who intends to convert that property into luxury
condominiums and hotels. [booing] senator sanders: and this -- can you deny poor people health care? we have a high rate of maternal deaths for women of color. can you imagine shutting down a hospital and an emergency room in a major city in america in order to build expensive condominiums and a luxury hotel? that is the kind of dysfunctionality that we intend to end. furthermore, let me address some of the other half truths, misinformation, and in some cases, outright lies that are being spread about medicare for all.
medicare for all, critics tell us, that americans just love their private health insurance companies. [laughter] senator sanders: you know what, have never met one person who loves their insurance company. i have met many people who do love their doctors and their nurses, who have very good experiences in their hospitals. you hat we do is to say, can go to those doctors, you can go to those hospitals, but you're not going to have to anymore deal with ripoff insurance companies. [applause] senator sanders: we heard fairly recently from the c.e.o. at united health. a gentleman named david wittman ho, by the way, in 2017 made
$83 million in compensation, and you will be shocked to know he actually likes the current system. he thinks the system is really good, and he worries -- and i quote -- that a medicare for all system would, quote, destabilize the nation's health system, end quote. well, i guess that mr. wittman and his friends will no longer be making $83 million a year in compensation. and if he calls that destabilization, so be it. cheers and applause] senator sanders: but when our opponents talk about destabilization of the current system, they forget to tell you that the current system is already disrupting and destabilizing millions of people's lives.
in the current system, 50 million americans every year lose their existing health insurance when their employer changes insurance. so you're working for somebody and they say, oh, by the way, we have a better deal going over there. you're changing your insurance company. people lose their health insurance in many cases when they lose their jobs or when they change employers. they are changing their health insurance plans. or, sadly enough, when they can no longer afford any health insurance at all. that is 50 million people every year. for many of these people, they will no longer be able to see the doctor that they have gone to and relied on for years, and for others, important treatments for long-term
conditions or disabilities will be changed or stopped altogether. that's called disruption in the current system. and here is the simple truth. the american people do not like their private health insurance companies. [applause] senator sanders: in fact, private health insurance companies, for all of the right reasons, are incredibly unpopular. what the american people do like, as i mentioned, are their doctors, their nurses, and in many cases, their hospitals. furthermore, while our opponents claim that medicare or all is too expensive, the reality is that in a system which spends twice as much per capita as any other country, study after study shows that
medicare for all will be much more cost-effective. the center for medicare and medicaid services estimates that if we do not change the current system, this country ill be spending $50 trillion over the next 10 years. almost 20% of our g.d.p. so in other words, when we talk about the cost of health care, which is a very, very important point, needs to be discussed, understand that the current system is unsustainable and will be incredibly harmful to the people of our country, to the business community, and to the entire economy. and the reason why we end up spending so much is obvious. it is not just the huge profits in the insurance industry and
the pharmaceutical industry, but it is the incredible you and wasteful bureaucratic maze developed by thousands of different health care plans. today, hospitals and doctors must deal with patients who have different deductibles, different co-payments, different networks of coverage, and different coverage for pharmaceuticals or no insurance at all. all of this is not only driving doctors and nurses and hospital administrators to distraction, t it is wasting up to $500 billion a year on unnecessary nd bureaucratic administrative costs. [applause] senator sanders: unlike our current system, there is a
broad consensus from conservative to progressive economists that medicare for all would result in substantial savings for the american people. two of the most recent studies on this issue have estimated that medicare for all would save the american people between $2 trillion and $5 trillion over a 10-year period. so the argument is not how much medicare for all will cost. it will cost a lot. health care costs a lot. the argument is, compared to what? and the what is an unsustainable system that will cost huge amounts of money and negatively impact our economy if we do not have the courage to change it. and let me also be clear in telling you that the fight against medicare for all today is not a new development.
powerful special interests have always opposed health care programs that work for the people and not for corporate interests. let us not forget that when president harry truman first proposed a program guaranteing health care to seniors, -- guaranteeing health care to seniors, that was billed as radical, un-american and the attack on basic american freedom. and because of that coordinated attack, the idea stalled in congress for years until voters stood up and made their voices heard. 1960, the united states elected -- the people of the united states elected john f. kennedy as president after he campaigned in support of truman's health care ideas. that election prompted serious
work on universal health care, and kennedy, at the time -- and think about this. this is 50 years ago -- more than 50 years ago, kennedy noted, and i quote, what we are most of ng about doing the countries of europe did years ago. end of quote. that's in the early 1960's, president kennedy. inally, following the 1964 democratic election landslide, the new congress was able to pass what is now known as complare -- medicare despite intense opposition from the health insurance industry and the pharmaceutical companies. more than a half a century after that achievement, the time is now to go forward. the time is now to expand medicare to every man, woman,
and child in this country. cheers and applause] senator sanders: and let me be very, very clear. when it comes to health care, the insurance companies and the drug companies have been able to control the political process. the american people believe in health care for all. the american people believe we must significantly lower the ost of prescription drugs. but yet, the health care industry has fought us every step of the way, and it seems to me if we are going to break the strangle hold of corporate interests over the health care needs of the american people, we have got to confront a washington culture that is
corrupt, that puts profits ahead of the needs of the people. cheers and applause] senator sanders: and that is why today i am calling on every democratic candidate in this election to join me in rejecting money from the insurance and drug companies. reject that money. cheers and applause] and what that means -- what that means, specifically, is not accepting donations of over $200 from health insurance or pharmaceutical company p.a.c.'s, lobbyists or executives. candidates who are not willing to take that pledge should explain to the american people
why those corporate interests and their donations are a good investment for the health care industry. [applause] senator sanders: so what we are saying is not complicated. the time is now to stand with the american people and guarantee health care to all people. the time is now to tell the drug companies and the insurance companies, we don't want their money because we don't think that the current health care system is right, because it is geared towards profits for those industries rather than the needs of the american people. cheers and applause] senator sanders: now, of course, president trump should
do the same. but i am not going to even waste my breath suggesting that he will. this is a president who, as you will recall, promised the american people that he would provide health care to everybody but instead came within one vote, one vote of throwing 32 million americans off of the health care that they have. finally, let me conclude by saying this. you know, i understand that change gets people a little bit nervous. i do understand that, but i hope everybody understands that 50, 55 years ago in the mid 1960's when the u.s. congress finally said that the elderly and the poor should have health care as a right, that that was
an incredibly difficult undertaking. it was a difficult undertaking. but they succeeded and what they did has improved the lives and saved the lives of countless and countless people. and today, you have people in vermont and all over this country so grateful, so grateful that they have a strong health insurance program called medicare. but that was in the 1960's. and today, we are in the year 2019. , in my view, now is the time not for tinkering around the edges, now is not the time for taking money and large campaign contributions from the insurance companies and the drug companies. now is the time to do what every other major country on earth does.
now is the time to do what the american people want us to do. now is the time to pass a pay are for all sing -- le -- single payer program. cheers and applause] [crowd chanting "bernie!" ] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> beautiful. >> this week marks the 50th anniversary of the apollo 11 moon landing, and a new c-span
poll shows nearly 3/4 of all americans watched footage either live or recorded of the moon landing. >> t minus 10 minutes and counting. >> starting friday at 8:00 eastern, watch the 1969 cbs footage of the apollo 11 mission beginning with flight preparations. >> in the meantime, we have been performing final checks on the tracking beacon and the instruments that is used during the pilot phase of flight. >> we have liftoff. 32 minutes past the hour. liftoff on apollo 11. >> it's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. >> and then on saturday at 8:00 eastern, the landing and moon walk. >> columbia, this is houston. reading you, over. >> sunday morning at 10:30 eastern, coverage of the apollo 11 returning to earth and greetings from president richard nixon. >> i want you to know i think i am the luckiest man in the world, and i say this not only
because i have the honor to be president of the united states, but particularly because i have the privilege of speaking for so many and welcoming you back to earth. >> watch the 1969 news coverage of the historic apollo 11 mission on c-span and c-span.org. listen with the free c-span radio app. >> vice president mike pence delivered remarks at the unveiling of neil armstrong's apollo 11 space suit at the smithsonian national air and space museum here in washington, d.c. the space suit will go on display for the first time in 13 years to mark the 50th anniversary of the mission to the moon. vice president pence: thank you, administrator jim bridenstine. thank you for your great leadership at nasa. to all of our honored guests, thank you for your great leadership. here at the national air and