Bernie Sanders Warns The Senate Health Care Vote Delay Is A “Temporary” Victory
On Tuesday, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell decided to postpone the vote on the Senate's health care bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. As an outspoken opponent of the piece of legislation that could result in up to 22 million Americans losing their insurance by 2026, Senator Bernie Sanders called the health care vote delay a major, albeit temporary victory on Tuesday.
Sanders tweeted, "This is a major victory but it's temporary. Our job now is to rally the American people to stop this awful legislation once and for all!" Later, he tweeted, "Our job now is to make sure that 100% of the American people know what's in the disastrous Republican 'health care' bill."
This isn't the first time the senator has spoken out about the Senate's version of the bill. Sanders previously called the Better Care Reconciliation Act a "moral outrage." Last weekend, as a part of what he calls the "Don't Steal Our Health Care" tour, he traveled to Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia to hold rallies against the bill. He told the crowd in Pittsburgh, PA, "The horrible and unspeakable truth is that if this legislation was to pass, and if millions of people, many of whom are terribly ill today, would to lose their healthcare that they have, there is no question but that many many thousands of our fellow Americans will die unnecessarily."
According to Vox, Sanders' rallies seemed to focus not so much on saving Obamacare, which he criticized throughout his presidential campaign and wanted to replace. Instead, he stressed the importance of saving Medicaid, which would be cut under the BCRA expansions.
During his speeches last weekend, Sanders also spoke out against the bill's tax cuts for wealthy Americans.
We will not allow 23 million Americans to be thrown off of the health insurance they currently have in order to give more than $500 billion in tax breaks to the top two percent, to the insurance companies, to the drug companies and to other multi-national companies. Plain and simple, this so-called healthcare bill is a massive transfer of wealth from working families to the very very rich. This is a barbaric and immoral piece of legislation.
So far, even some Republicans have come out against the bill. In fact, nine Republican Senators have voiced their opposition to the BCRA in its current state: Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee, Dean Heller, Susan Collins, Jerry Moran, Shelly Moore Capito, and Rob Portman.
For now, Senators will break in a few days for the holiday weekend and pick up the health care debate when they return to Washington the next week. In the meantime, it's unlikely Sanders will stop fighting against it.