Bernie Sanders: 'We Will Eliminate Medical Debt in This Country'

Susan Jones | September 3, 2019 | 7:09am EDT
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Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

( - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), now running for the Democrat presidential nomination, told a town hall in Florence, S.C., last Friday that he will soon release his plan to "eliminate medical debt in this country."

A South Carolina woman who said she earns too little to enroll in Obamacare asked Sanders, "Is there anything in your plan that would actually work for people who are drowning right now with their medical debt?"

"Actually, in another piece of legislation, there is," Sanders responded.

"I mean, what we are looking at right now, as I said earlier, is half a million people who are going bankrupt and others that are using up their entire life savings to cover the medical bills that they have right now. And I gather that's your scenario," he told the woman.

"So in another piece of legislation that we will be offering, we will eliminate medical debt in this country.

"I mean, just stop and think for a second, why should people be placed in financial duress. What crime did you commit? You had a serious illness? Okay.

“That is not what this country should be about. But I think when we move to Medicare for all, we will end bankruptcy and we will end families having to suffer financially because they came down -- someone came down with a serious illness," Sanders said.

Sanders did not give any further details of his anticipated legislation, including how he plans to pay for the canceled medical debt.

Sanders already advocates expanding Medicare to cover home health care, dental, vision, and hearing. And he wants every American to eventually be enrolled in the government-administered program.

In addition to canceling medical debt, Sanders is calling for the cancelation of $1.6 trillion in outstanding student debt; and he wants to eliminate tuition and fees at four-year public colleges and universities.

"Everyone deserves the right to a good higher education if they choose to pursue it, no matter their income," his campaign website says.

Sanders said he would pay for student debt elimination and free tuition by taxing Wall Street "speculators," those who trade stocks and bonds.


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