Clinton: Sanders ‘Couldn’t Explain’ Single-Payer or ‘How Much It Would Cost’

Washington Free Beacon | 9/12/2017 | Paul Crookston
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BY: Paul Crookston

Hillary Clinton in an interview questioned the single-payer healthcare system that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and a growing group of Democratic leaders support.

Vox - Ezra - Klein - Clinton - Challenges

Speaking to Vox’s Ezra Klein, Clinton said she faced the challenges of healthcare policy in the 1990s, and pointed out ways that single-payer could backfire on Sanders and other progressives. She criticized her former rival in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary for proposing single-payer bills in the past without even knowing how much such programs would cost.

"As you might remember during the campaign, he introduced a single-payer bill every year he was in Congress," Clinton said about Sanders. "And when somebody finally read it, he couldn’t explain it and couldn’t really tell people how much it was going to cost."

Klein - Senators - Number - Candidates - Sanders

Klein pointed out that many senators, including a number of potential 2020 presidential candidates, have signed onto Sanders’ plan. That group includes Sens. Kamala Harris (Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Cory Booker (N.J.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.). Clinton said that balancing the different goals of healthcare policy has stymied progressive reforms, such as hers during her husband’s presidential administration.

"I’ve been down this road, this is not the first time we have tried to confront this," she said. "When I was working on healthcare back in ’93 and ‘94, if we could have waved the magic wand and started all over, I’ve said it numerous times, maybe we would have started with something resembling single-payer plus other payers, like some other countries that have universal coverage and are much better at controlling costs than we do, primarily in Europe."

Clinton - Healthcare - People - Fears - Government

Clinton said that reforming healthcare will have to grapple with people’s fears of government intervention as well as their comfort with the current system.

"We were facing the reality — talk about reality — of not just strong powerful...
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