Sanders slams GOP 'hatred' on health care in hearing

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersConfused by polls? Watch early primary states — not national numbers Confused by polls? Watch early primary states — not national numbers Biden leads in early voting states, followed by Warren, Sanders: poll MORE (I-Vt.) on Wednesday slammed Republicans over health care policies in their proposed budget, going after what he claimed to be a “hatred” of providing health coverage.
 
Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, made the remarks in a Senate Budget Committee hearing largely dominated by health policy.
 
“I frankly do not understand why Republicans seem to have such a hatred toward providing health care to the American people,” said Sanders, who serves as ranking member of the panel.
 
Sanders was referring to the Senate GOP budget proposal, which assumed a complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
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Over a five-year period, the budget also calls for $281 billion in decreased spending to Medicaid, Children’s health insurance and ACA subsidies, and a $77 billion decrease in Medicare spending.
 
Sanders said the budget, if implemented, would also cut funds to nursing homes, pregnant women and new mothers, education and Social Security. 
 
 
“Accurate,” Sanders replied.
 
The Vermont senator made the remarks a day after reiterating his call for eliminating private health insurance companies as part of a move to a single-payer, "Medicare for all" health care system.
 
 
 
The Justice Department this week decided to back a lawsuit that would invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act, an escalation from its previous targeting of pre-existing condition protections.
 
Trump told reporters on Tuesday that ”the Republican Party will soon be known as the party of health care.”
 
And on Wednesday, Trump called the Affordable Care Act a “disaster” and said insurance premiums are “too high,” adding that the law is “far too expensive for the people, not only for the country.”
 
Senate Republicans were on defense in the budget hearing Wednesday, calling for compromise and bipartisan solutions.
 
 
Braun also endorsed popular portions of the ACA, such as keeping pre-existing conditions in place and allowing adults to stay on their parents’ insurance up until the age of 26.
 
Republicans, he said, needed to find health care solutions to win at the ballot box, “not necessarily doing it through government, but holding industry to account.”
 
 
“Let’s fix the problem. Maintain the protection for preexisting conditions,” he said, floating high-risk insurance pools to help offset the costs.
 
The committee will continue its markup on Thursday with a day of amendments. But the proposal may never reach the Senate floor.
 
In the House, Democrats are contemplating a budget that would expand spending, though internal disagreements may prevent a budget from being considered.
 
The fact that the budget has become little more than a political messaging document was not lost on the committee members Wednesday.