On Friday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the runner-up for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination and a 2020 candidate, said his “Medicare for All” program would extend health care coverage to the 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.
“We are gonna end that and create a Medicare for All healthcare system which guarantees health care to every man woman and child and saves the average American substantial sums of money,” Sanders said at the NALEO conference in Miami.
“Senator, would you include the 11 million undocumented immigrants in that?” a moderator asked.
“Absolutely. Absolutely,” Sanders responded. “When I talk about health care being a human right, last time I heard that undocumented people are human beings as well.”
Interestingly, Sanders also admitted that government-funded health care programs have serious problems.
“Now to answer your question, I will not deny that every country on earth that has a national health care program, all have problems. That’s the nature of health care and a changing technology. But what I want everybody to understand is literally starting yesterday, the insurance companies and the drug companies are starting to spend tens and tens of millions of dollars to fight against Medicare for All. And we will organize the American people around the concept that all people in this country have the right to health care and at the end of the day, we are going to win that struggle,” he said.
Sanders has admitted that Medicare for All would involve abolishing private health insurance. He would abolish private health insurance and cover illegal immigrants, putting them in the same pool as law-abiding citizens. He would do all this even while acknowledging that government health care programs have serious problems.
In the Democratic Party’s Race to the Left, Bernie Sanders never fails to leap ahead of the competition. The self-described socialist seems utterly unconcerned about the legal immigrants who spent years earning the right to become citizens. Extending benefits to illegal immigrants is a slap in the face for them.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.