Democratic Debate 2019: Sanders defends Medicare for all: ‘I wrote the damn bill’


Posted on: July 30th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

adamkaz/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Twenty presidential primary contenders return to a pair of stages on Tuesday and Wednesday seeking a breakout moment at the second Democratic debates.

For the lower-polling candidates in the field, Detroit likely will be their last chance to impress a national audience. Here is how the night is unfolding.

8:44 p.m.: 2019 Bernie Sanders sounds like 2016 Bernie Sanders

Hearkening back to when he said in a 2016 debate against Hillary Clinton, “The American people are sick and tired about hearing about your damn emails,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said Tuesday night about his ‘Medicare for all’ bill, “I wrote the damn bill.”

8:43 p.m. Tim Ryan makes appeal to union workers on healthcare while attacking Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders

“Here we are in Detroit, home of the auto workers and have union friends here tonight. This plan being offered by Senator Warren and Sanders will tell the union members that give away wages in order to get good health care that they will lose their health care because Washington is going to come in and tell them they have a better plan,” Ryan said.

8:39 p.m. John Delaney says other 2020 candidates don’t understand the health care system

“‘I’m the only one on the stage with experience in the health care business and with all due respect, I don’t think my colleagues understand the business,” Delaney said. “The public option is great but doesn’t go far enough. It doesn’t go far enough. I’m proposing universal health care where everyone gets health care as a basic human right for free, but they have choices.”

8:37 p.m.: Bernie Sanders goes after moderator Jake Tapper

Amid a response on the debate over healthcare, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., took aim at CNN moderator, Jake Tapper and then the network as a whole for the ads running during the debate’s commercial breaks.

“What I am talking about and others up here are talking about is no deductibles and no co-payments and Jake, your question is a Republican talking point. At the end of the day and by the way, and by the way, by the way, the health care industry will be advertising tonight on this program,” he said.

8:33 p.m.: Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke dive into their positions on healthcare

“We don’t have to stand up here speculating about whether the public option will be better or Medicare For All environment will be better than corporate options. We’ll put it to the test,” Mayor Pete Buttigieg said.

“I think you can buy into it. That’s the idea of Medicare For All that want to,” Buttigieg added.

But former Congressman Beto O’Rourke said, “The middle class will not pay more in taxes to ensure that every American is guaranteed world-class health care. I think we’re being offered a false choice. Some who want to improve the Affordable Care Act at the margins, others who want a Medicare For All program that will force people off of private insurance, I have a better path: Medicare for America.”

8:31 p.m. Gov. Steve Bullock answers for why he doesn’t support Medicare-for-All

“At the end of the day I won’t support any plan that rips away quality health care from individuals,” Bullock said. “This is an example of wishlist economics. It used to be Republicans that wanted to repeal and replace, now many Democrats do, as well. We can get there with the public option, negotiating drug prices.”

8:29 p.m.: Elizabeth Warren comes to Bernie Sanders’ defense

Amid the first contentious moment between Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and former Congressman John Delaney, D-Md., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., stood by her progressive ally, defending him from the attack.

“We are the Democrats. We are not about trying to take away health care from anyone. That’s what the Republicans are trying to do,” she said in response to Delaney. “We should stop using Republican talking points in order to talk with each other about how to best provide that health care.”

8:27 p.m. John Delaney creates the first spar of the night with Bernie Sanders on health care

“I’m right about this,” Delaney said. “We can create a universal health care system to give everyone basic health care for free, and I have a proposal to do it, but we don’t have to go around and be the party of subtraction and telling half the country with private health insurance their health insurance is illegal.”

“The fact of the matter is, tens of millions of people lose their health insurance every single year when they change jobs or their employer changes that insurance,” Sanders added. “If you want stability in the health care system, if you want a system which gives you freedom of choice with regard to doctor or hospital, which is a system which will not bankrupt you, the answer is to get rid of the profits of the drug companies.”

8:25 p.m. Sen. Bernie Sanders tackles the first question of the night on health care

“Right now we have a dysfunctional health care system,” Sanders said. “87 million uninsured or underinsured, 500,000 Americans every year going bankrupt because of medical bills. 30,000 people dying while the health care industry makes tens of billions of dollars in profit.”

8:23 p.m. More Democrats make their case

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar: “Let’s get real … I have bold ideas, but they are grounded in reality. And yes, I will make some simple promises. I can win this, I’m from the midwest and I’ve won every race, every place, every time and I will govern with integrity.”

Former Texas Beto O’Rourke: “I’m running for president because I believe that America discovers it’s greatness at its moments of greatest need.”

8:19 p.m. Democrats make their case to voters in their opening statements

Author and spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson: “We the American people must rise up and do what we do best and create a new possibility, say no to what we don’t want and yes to what we know can be true.”

Former U.S. Rep. John Delaney: “Folks, we have a choice. We can go down the road that senator Sanders and senator Warren want to take us with bad policies like medicare for all, free everything, and impossible promises that will turn off independent voters and get trump reelected.”

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio: “The political system is broken, too, because the entire conversation is about left or right, where are you at on the political system and I’m here to say this isn’t about left or right. This is about new and better and it’s not about reforming old systems. It’s about building new systems and tonight, I will offer solutions that are bold, that are realistic, and that are a clean break from the past.”

Former Colorado GovJohn Hickenlooper: “Last year Democrats flipped 40 Republican seats in the house and not one of those 40 Democrats supported the policies of our front runners at center stage … we focused on was making sure we got people together to get things done.”

8:14 p.m. Steve Bullock gives the first opening statement of the night highlighting his ability to work with Republicans across the aisle

“Look, I’m a pro-choice, pro-union, Democrat that won three elections in a red state, not by compromising our values but by getting stuff done,” Bullock said. “That’s how we win back the places we lost.”

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