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Biden cites delays, cost when asked about Medicare for All veto

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Joe Biden pointed to “delays” and “cost” when asked in a new interview if he would veto a “Medicare for All” proposal championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), his rival in the Democratic presidential primary, if elected to the White House.

“Veto question. Let’s flash forward. You’re president. Bernie Sanders is still active in the Senate. He manages to get Medicare for All through the Senate in some compromised version, the Elizabeth Warren version or other version. Nancy Pelosi gets a version of it through the House of Representatives,” MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell asked the former vice president late Monday. “It comes to your desk. Do you veto it?”

“I would veto anything that delays providing the security and the certainty of health care being available now. If they got that through in by some miracle or there’s an epiphany that occurred and some miracle occurred that said, OK, it’s passed. Then you got to look at the cost,” Biden responded. 

Biden also said he would want to know how lawmakers expected to pay for the proposal, which he said would cost “$35 trillion.” 

“Look, my opposition isn’t to the principle that there should be — you should have Medicare. I mean, I — look, everybody — health care should be a right in America. My opposition relates to whether or not, A, it’s doable, two, what the cost is, and what the consequences for the rest of the budget are,” Biden said.

“How are you going to find $35 trillion over the next 10 years without having profound impacts on everything from taxes for middle class and working class people as well as well as the impact on the rest of the budget?” he asked. 

Sanders’s plan is estimated to cost $30 trillion over 10 years. The progressive has cited a study from Yale University that found his plan would lower health costs by $450 billion a year.  

Voters in six states will cast ballots in the Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday. Biden holds a slight lead over Sanders in delegates after a strong showing on Super Tuesday last week.

The former vice president built a double-digit lead over Sanders nationwide among likely Democratic voters in a CNN poll released Monday. The poll found that 52 percent of voters said they wanted Biden to win the nomination, while 36 percent chose Sanders.

Tags Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden Nancy Pelosi
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