In light of both Hillary Clinton’s comments about him in her new book as well as his new bill pushing for a single-payer health care system in the U.S. (also known as “Medicare for all”), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) appeared on NBC’s “Meet The Press” on Sunday.
Sanders attempted to deflect the blame on him for her electoral loss.
“People say not everybody who voted for Bernie ended up voting for Hillary. No kidding!” he said. “That’s what happens in politics … That’s the nature of politics. Most people, you know, are not rigidly Democrats or Republicans. They vote where they want. I worked as hard as I could to see that Hillary Clinton would be elected president.”
While being relatively charitable to Clinton’s comments, Sanders was more blunt when speaking about the Democratic Party as an entity. “The current model of the Democratic Party obviously is not working,” he said, citing Republican control of the White House, Senate, House, and two-thirds of state governorships.
“In my view, Chuck, what we need to do is to reach out to Independents,” he added.
As for his health care bill, Sanders seemed particularly frustrated by the talking point about Medicare for all requiring a tax hike. “My Republican friends say, ‘Well, Bernie wants to raise your taxes.’ They forget to conveniently mention that Bernie wants to do away with the private insurance premiums that you’re now paying!”
Sanders also argued that further cost savings that would come from the lower overhead required compared to private insurance, as well as negotiating drug prices the way that other countries do. All told, though, he said to host Chuck Todd that he would rather be on for the full hour to be able to adequately discuss the benefits of single payer.