Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stated on Tuesday that moderate Senate Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) will ultimately vote in favor of his “Medicare-for-All” plan if he is elected president, despite their having previously voicing their opposition to the proposal.
CNBC Editor-at-Large John Harwood pressed Sanders on how he expects to get his expansive programs like “Medicare-for-All” to pass in the Senate in the event that Democrats narrowly take over the majority during the 2020 election. Harwood specifically questioned whether he would be able to rally the support of Manchin, who refers to himself as a conservative Democrat.
“Damn right they will [vote in favor of ‘Medicare-for-All’], you know why? Because they’re friends of mine,” Sanders responded.
“What happens right now is that your average politician sits around and he or she thinks — they say, ‘let’s see, if I do this I’m going to have the big money interest putting 30-second ads against me, so I better not do it,'” he continued. “But now they’re going to have to think ‘if I don’t support an agenda that works for working people, I’m going to have President Sanders come into my state and rally working class people.'”
“You know what? At the end of the day, the 1% is very powerful, no denying that,” Sanders added. “But the 99%, when they are organized and prepared to stand up and fight — they are far more powerful.”
Manchin, however, has been notably critical of his party’s embrace of a single-payer health insurance system, both in terms of the staggering price tag and its anti-capitalist structure.
“We’re kind of conditioned to want what you want, when you want it. If you’re willing to pay for it, make that sacrifice, then by God, in a capitalist society, you should be able to buy it,” Manchin told The Hill in June. “And we’re going to take that away?”
Referring specifically to Sanders’ proposal, the West Virginia senator called it “an inspirational novel idea” — but further noted that the American taxpayers can’t afford to foot the bill for “Medicare-for-some” or the current Medicare program, so how could the country afford the $30 trillion expense.
“The fight right now is to get the American people to understand that we are spending twice as much per capita and that of course we can pay for it,” Sanders told Harwood during the interview. “We are paying it now in a very reactionary, regressive way — I want to pay for it in a progressive way.”
“Now you’re asking me to come up with an exact detailed plan of how every American, you know, how much you’re going to pay more in taxes, how much I’m going to pay more in taxes,” he continued. “I don’t think I have to do that right now.”
While the Democratic presidential hopeful has been forthright about increasing taxes on all Americans in order to fund the government-run health care system, he has been vague on which taxes would be raised and by how much.
Manchin’s office did not return The Daily Wire’s request for comment.