With his insurgent candidacy in the 2016 Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders sparked a new socialist movement with his bold policy proposals like universal health care.
In 2019, as every Democratic presidential candidate endorses some version of Sanders' Medicare for All proposal, it's clear that he is the intellectual heart of liberalism.
Unfortunately for liberals in 2019, Sanders himself in both 1987 and 1993 admitted that Medicare for All would, in his words, "bankrupt the nation."
Using this newly rediscovered video, The Dan O'Donnell Show has created an insightful debate over universal health care pitting Bernie Sanders Now against Bernie Sanders Then.
Good evening and welcome to tonight’s Medicare for All debate between Bernie Sanders Now and Bernie Sanders Then. I’m your moderator, Dan O’Donnell. Bernie Sanders Now, the first question is for you. Why will your Medicare for All plan succeed?
"The strengths of a Medicare for all program are not only its universality and its cost-effectiveness. It also ends the complexity of a system which adds enormous stress at a time when people need it the least." (2018)
Bernie Sanders Then, your response, sir?
"How do you create a national health care system which guarantees health care for all people yet does not bankrupt this country by forcing us to spend tens and tens of billions of dollars more. That's the issue right there; very simple. Everybody knows the current health care system is disintegrating. It is a very bad system. Everybody knows that we must have a system which guarantees health care to all people and everybody knows that we have a $300 billion deficit." (1993)
A very valid question. Bernie Sanders now, how do you answer it?
"While depending on your income your taxes may go up to pay for this publicly funded program, that expense will be more than offset by the money you are saving by the elimination of private insurance costs." (2018)
Bernie Sanders Now, you are admitting that government spending and taxes would have to go up, but you say those increases would be manageable. Bernie Sanders Then, how do you respond?
"You want to guarantee that all people have access to health care as you do in Canada, but I think what we understand is that unless we change the funding system and the control mechanisms in this country to do that; for example, if we expanded Medicaid to everybody--gave everybody a Medicaid card--we would be spending such an astronomical sum of money that we would bankrupt the nation." (1987)
Bernie Sanders Then, a dire warning, it seems for Bernie Sanders Now. Gentlemen thank you for participating in this evening’s Medicare for All Debate. And thank you to our studio audience and those watching at home. Good night.