Sanders calls on Grassley, Ernst to vote against Senate healthcare plan

Sanders calls on Grassley, Ernst to vote against Senate healthcare plan

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersTrump's move to halt family separations leaves questions unanswered Sanders: 'Democrats have been serious about comprehensive immigration reform' Races to watch in Tuesday’s primaries MORE (I-Vt.) on Saturday urged Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley wants to subpoena Comey, Lynch after critical IG report Senate Dems call for Judiciary hearing on Trump's 'zero tolerance' Republicans agree — it’s only a matter of time for Scott Pruitt MORE (R-Iowa) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) to vote against the Senate GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

"We need one more Republican vote, and I say to Sen. Grassley and Sen. Ernst, please take a hard look at what this disastrous legislation will do to the people of Iowa and the people of America," Sanders told progressive supporters in a speech in Des Moines, Iowa. 

"I say to them – I beg of them – please vote no on this legislation," he continued.

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Sanders plea comes as Senate Republican leaders eye a vote on their healthcare measure next week.

The bill can only afford two Republican defections to get the 50 votes needed to pass, and so far, Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate Gang of Four to meet next week on immigration Republicans agree — it’s only a matter of time for Scott Pruitt Skyrocketing insulin prices provoke new outrage MORE (R-Maine) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP senators call for probe of federal grants on climate change Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Key ObamaCare groups in limbo | Opioids sending thousands of kids into foster care | House passes bill allowing Medicaid to pay for opioid treatments US watchdog: 'We failed' to stem Afghan opium production MORE (R-Ky.) have said they will not vote to approve the measure.

In a fiery address at "Revolution Iowa: From Protest to Power," Sanders railed against the Senate's healthcare proposal and took aim at Republicans for drafting the measure "behind closed doors."

"This legislation is so bad, that the Republicans have refused to hold one public hearing and all of their deliberations are behind closed doors," he said. "That's how bad this legislation is." 

Sanders also cited opposition to the bill by outside groups such as the AARP and the American Medical Association. 

"I say to Sens. Grassley and Ernst, if you don't believe me, then why don't you listen to virtually every major healthcare organization in this country. All of whom oppose this legislation."