Bernie Sanders Calls The AHCA Flop A Major Victory For The US
When any big political event happens in the United States, you can always count on former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to chime in. And on Friday afternoon, Sanders commented on the AHCA flop, calling the bill's failure a major victory for "working families and everyone who attended rallies and town hall meetings in opposition to this disastrous bill." And seeing as Sanders has advocated for health care reform for years, his response makes perfect sense.
Friday was full of anticipation for one reason: The AHCA was going to either pass the House of Representatives or fail. Instead, as time ran out for House Majority Speaker Paul Ryan to recruit more representatives to vote in favor of the controversial piece of legislation, the bill was pulled altogether. And just moments later, Ryan said something that will surely make AHCA opponents pretty happy: America will be "living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future." Ryan added that addressing tax reform is higher up on the agenda now.
But that doesn't mean the GOP won't return to reforming health care. Ryan also added that he doesn't believe Obamacare can survive forever. In other words, it's possible that the Party proposes new repeal and replace legislation sometime during the duration of Trump's presidency.
Sanders has continued to discuss health care reform, even after Trump took office. In February 2017, for example, Sanders and Ted Cruz went head-to-head on Obamacare in a CNN town hall event. He warned about repealing the piece of legislation:
If you are one of 20 million Americans who finally has received health insurance, forget about it — you're gone. That means when you get sick, you ain't gonna be able to go to the doctor. And when you end up in the hospital, you'll be paying those bills for the rest of your life, or maybe you'll go bankrupt.
The AHCA would have gotten rid of the Medicaid expansion, taking coverage away from between 4 million and 6 million Americans who became eligible because of the expansion. And for Sanders, who wants affordable health care for every American, that a big problem. During a 2016 PBS Democratic debate in Wisconsin against Hillary Clinton, Sanders explained that he thinks America needs to adopt other countries' health care plans:
There is one major country that does not guarantee health care to all people. There is one major country--the United States--which ends up spending almost three times per capita what they do in the U.K. guaranteeing health care to all people, 50 percent more than they do in France guaranteeing health care to all people, far more than our Canadian neighbors, who guarantee health care to all people.
Though the AHCA has failed for now, expect Sanders to continue to advocate for more affordable health care in America.