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

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

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersParliamentarian deals setback to GOP repeal bill OPINION | Hey Dems, Russia won't define 2018, so why not fix your party's problems instead? OPINION | They told us to abandon ObamaCare — then came the resistance MORE (I-Vt.) on Saturday urged Sens. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyTrump Jr., Manafort reach deal to avoid public hearing next week Senate panel subpoenas co-founder of firm tied to controversial Trump dossier Trump Jr., Manafort still haven't agreed to testify before Senate panel 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 CollinsThe GOP Wonder Women who saved healthcare for 22 million Senate heads to new healthcare vote with no clear plan OPINION | GOP healthcare attack is a vendetta against President Obama MORE (R-Maine) and Rand PaulRand PaulThe Hill's 12:30 Report Senate heads to new healthcare vote with no clear plan Overnight Healthcare: CBO predicts 22M would lose coverage under Senate ObamaCare replacement 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."