Sanders renews call for universal healthcare

Sanders renews call for universal healthcare
© Getty Images

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGOP ramps up attacks on SALT deduction provision Symone Sanders to leave the White House at the end of the year Briahna Joy Gray says Chris Cuomo will return to CNN following scandal MORE (I-Vt.) is doubling down on his support for universal healthcare after weeks of mostly shying away from the topic on the campaign trail.

In a speech Monday at Liberty University in Virginia, Sanders blasted the nation’s healthcare system for killing “thousands of Americans” every year who can’t afford insurance. 


“That is not justice, that is not morality. People should not be dying in the United States of America when they are sick,” Sanders, who is running for president, said to roaring applause at the Christian college. “We are the only major country on earth that does not guarantee healthcare to all people as a right, and I think we should change that.”

Sanders, who is an ardent supporter of creating a single-payer healthcare system, has shifted his talking points on healthcare since his campaign launched this spring.

Instead, he has focused largely on prescription drug costs, an issue with bipartisan support. Over the last few weeks, Sanders has partnered with the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee to combat high drug prices. The pair will unveil a bill next week.

But at his speech Monday, Sanders stressed universal health insurance as a basic element of the country’s healthcare system.

“I have talked personally to doctors throughout Vermont and to physicians all over this country. And without exception, they tell me there are times when there are patients who walk into their office very, very sick,” Sanders said. “They say, ‘Why didn’t you come in here when you were sick?’ Their answer is, ‘I don’t have any health insurance' or 'I have a high deductible.’ ”

Sanders’s healthcare platform contrasts with Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublican Ohio Senate candidate slams JD Vance over previous Trump comments Budowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema Countering the ongoing Republican delusion MORE's continued to praise ObamaCare in campaign events.

Sanders, however, has repeatedly said the legislation’s goal remains incomplete, pointing to the rising cost of deductibles and the millions of people who are underinsured.