News & Politics

Bernie Sanders Smashes GOP's 'Disaster' Health Care Plan Right to Pieces

"It's a massive tax break for the top 2 percent."

After six long years of pressing for Obamacare's repeal, congressional Republicans finally unveiled their replacement this week. And while the bill has been heavily criticized by both parties, Sen. Bernie Sanders is reluctant even to call it a health care bill.

"When we look at what the Republicans are doing, it should not be seen as a health care legislation. Essentially, it should be seen for what it is... a massive tax break of $275 billion for the top 2 percent," Sanders told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Thursday night.

Sanders, a staunch advocate for universal health care, has spent much of the year on a red-state tour through regions where the Obamacare repeal is set to hurt people the most. 

"You have the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association saying that this will be a disaster for the American people. You have the AARP saying... If you are 64 years of age and you're making $25,000 a year, your premiums are going to go up by $7,000," Sanders said. 

The Vermont senator also echoed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's statement made Thursday, calling the GOP proposal "Robin Hood in reverse." 

"[House Republicans would be] throwing 5 to 10 million people off of health insurance, raising premiums for low-income and working-class people, defunding Planned Parenthood, denying over 2 million women the right to get health care where they want," Sanders noted. "But the good news is, for all of you who are watching: if you're in the top 2 percent, Republicans are there for you."

As late as mid-January, Donald Trump offered little insight into what his Obamacare replacement plan would look like. 

“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said

"We have a Republican House, a Republican Senate and a Republican president, and if they can't get their act together, they're going to be held accountable," Sanders said. "They have told us for eight years how terrible the Affordable Care Act is, and yet we have added 20 million people to the ranks of the insured." 

Sanders called the GOP's plan a "disaster." 

"We should remind everybody that the United States today is the only major country on earth that doesn't guarantee health care to all people," Sanders added. "We spend far, far more per capita for the very dysfunctional system we have, and Republicans want to make that worse."


Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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