Sanders defends ‘Medicare for All’ proposal after criticism by Biden


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

Bernie Sanders vigorously defended his signature “Medicare for All” proposal Wednesday after criticism from his 2020 rival Joe Biden and called on his fellow Democratic presidential candidates to join him in refusing to accept contributions from the health care industry.

Saying he wanted to address “some of the half-truths” and “outright lies” about his single-payer health care plan, Sanders insisted that coverage for seniors would increase and that Americans would be able to choose their own doctors and clinics without worrying whether their health care provider is in network.

He also tried to ease fears that his proposal was too radical and said a big change was needed to improve health care in the country.

“Now is not the time for tinkering around the edges,” the Vermont senator said in an apparent swipe at Biden’s plan to expand the Affordable Care Act.

Sanders’ speech at George Washington University came as he is seeking to breathe new life into his campaign ahead of the second presidential debate later this month. He has slipped in some public polling and has been outraised by several of his rivals, including Biden.

Despite not mentioning Biden or any of his Democratic rivals by name, Sanders drew sharp contrasts in the speech between himself and the former vice president as the question of how to best provide health care for Americans has become an animating focus of the presidential race.

Biden has warned that it would be dangerous to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, implemented when he was vice president in the Obama administration, and replace it with Medicare for All.