Sanders comes under fire over cost of ‘Medicare for All’


Democratic presidential candidates piled on Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) during the South Carolina debate on Tuesday over the cost of his “Medicare for All” plan.

Sanders said he has laid out “options all over the place” to pay for his plan, which is estimated to cost $30 trillion over 10 years. He also repeatedly cited a recent study from Yale University that found his plan would lower health costs by $450 billion a year.

But his Democratic rivals were quick to seize on the price tag.

“No, the math does not add up,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). She noted that Sanders was just on “60 Minutes,” where he said he was “not going to rattle through the nickels and the dimes.”

“Well, let me tell you how many nickels and dimes we’re talking about. Nearly $60 trillion dollars for all his plans,” Klobuchar said. “[The voters of this country] are not with you on spending nearly $60 trillion dollars.” 

Sanders has pointed out that the United States already spends significantly more per person on health care than other developed countries, and says Medicare for All will save money. 

His list of possible financing options, if all added together, totals about $16 trillion over 10 years, about half the projected cost of the plan.

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a top contender along with Biden among the more-moderate candidates, accused Sanders of having an “incredible shrinking price tag” for the plan.

“I’ll tell you exactly what it adds up to. It adds up to four more years of Donald Trump, Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House, and the inability to get the Senate into Democratic hands,” he said, referring to the House majority leader. 

Tags 2020 Democratic debate Amy Klobuchar Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Kevin McCarthy Medicare for all Pete Buttigieg South Carolina debate
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