Ocasio-Cortez: 'Medicare for all' proposal 'not just pie in the sky'

Ocasio-Cortez: 'Medicare for all' proposal 'not just pie in the sky'
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Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that the "Medicare for all" proposal she and other progressives have championed would ultimately save Americans money, despite studies that have shown the idea would cost up to $40 trillion.

"Medicare for all would save the American people a very large amount of money. And what we see as well is that these systems are not just pie in the sky," Ocasio-Cortez said on CNN's "State of the Union," noting that Canada, France, the United Kingdom and other democracies have a similar form of health care.

"What we need to realize is these investments are better and good for our future. These are generational investments," she added.

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Ocasio-Cortez, a self-identified democratic socialist, scored a significant upset in June when she defeated Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in a primary, and is expected to win election to the House in November. She has made Medicare for all a cornerstone of her congressional campaign. 

CNN's Jake Tapper pointed out that some left-leaning studies have shown that the cost of Medicare for all would total close to $40 trillion. Ocasio-Cortez's plan to increase taxes on the wealthy and corporations to pay for the idea would only cover about $2 trillion, Tapper noted.

Ocasio-Cortez did not provide specifics for where the other $38 trillion in funding would come from, but acknowledged that "there are political realities" with which the concept has to contend.

Medicare for all has faced renewed scrutiny since a study last month estimated that legislation introduced by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg defends appearing on Fox News: Many Americans don't hear Dems' message Buttigieg: The future 'is personal' for me Donald Trump, president for life? We need term limits now MORE (I-Vt.) to create a national health insurance system would lead to a $32.6 trillion increase in federal spending over a 10-year period.

Additional studies have found that establishing Medicare for all would lead to similar costs.

Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday downplayed comments from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) that her victory over Crowley was a "fluke." She said she intends to rally her supporters in November to support all Democrats, including Cuomo.