Sanders: Baucus won’t consider single payer ‘in a million years’
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had some frank thoughts on the healthcare debate when he appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal this morning.
Sanders, who advocates a single-payer system, said Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, would never consider it.
C-SPAN: Is Senator Baucus open to your ideas?
Sen. Sanders: No.
C-SPAN: He’s not?
Sen. Sanders: To a single-payer idea? No. Not in a milllion years.
Sanders went on to lump Baucus together with Republicans:
Sen. Sanders: Well, It bothers me. It’s not just Senator Baucus. It is every Republican. I mean let’s be clear.
C-SPAN: But he’s a Democrat.
Sen. Sanders: Well I’m an independent. And that’s why I’m an indedendent
C-SPAN: But you caucus with the Democrats.
Sen. Sanders: I caucus with the Democrats. Look, what am I going to, sit here and tell you Democrats are perfect? They are immune from money pressure? Of course not.
Finally, Sanders said any bill that would muster a filibuster proof 60 votes would be too weak. Instead, he hinted at using budget reconciliation rules to push through stronger legislation.
“My strong feeling is if we end up with a bill that has 60 or 70 votes, it will be such a weak bill that it will not accomplish what I think the American people want,” he said. “I would rather pass a strong bill with 51 votes than a weak bill with 65 or 70 votes.”