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) SandersSchumer: Franken should resign Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE (I-Vt.) on Saturday urged Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration Thanks to the farm lobby, the US is stuck with a broken ethanol policy 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 CollinsOvernight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids Study: ObamaCare bills backed by Collins would lower premiums Right scrambles GOP budget strategy MORE (R-Maine) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLexington mayor launches bid for Congress Trump-free Kennedy Center Honors avoids politics Meet the Iran hawk who could be Trump's next secretary of State 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."