Congressman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) called out Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) ahead of his campaign speech on democratic socialism.
Sanders is slated to give a speech on democratic socialism later in the day on Wednesday to explain why he believes now is the time for the implementation of several socialist, big government policies, including “Medicare for All,” debt-free college, and an increase in the federal minimum wage.
During an interview on Fox News, Walden condemned Sanders for promoting socialism in the United States. He explained how socialist policies could be disastrous for Americans, especially when it comes to health care.
“When government takes things over, it seldom gets less expensive or more efficient. And there’s going to be an enormous bill for taxpayers. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, as we know. What concerns me most is about people’s access to health care because we know in countries where there’s a complete government takeover, they end up in a budget crunch and you wait in a hospital line, you wait to get diagnosed with cancer, you wait to get treatment. […] Why would we want to go down that system?”
Walden explained that Sanders’ plan for Medicare for All would eliminate private health insurance, preventing Americans from being able to choose their coverage and taking away care that union workers negotiated to obtain.
“Why would we abolish all of that and then have the government run it like the DMV?” Walden asked, referencing the well-known dysfunction within the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Fox host Bill Hemmer reminded Walden that Sanders is not alone in promoting socialist policies. As IJR reported earlier, former Vice President Joe Biden admitted that most of the 23 Democrats running for president are “on the same page” when it comes to these ideas.
Walden explained that he has been asking for a hearing on Medicare for All, but Democrats have refused to allow it. He claimed that Democrats don’t actually want to see the policy enacted, but believe it could earn them votes.
“I don’t think they are as serious about this from a policy standpoint as they are from a political standpoint,” Walden said.