Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Bernie Sanders (D-VT) took part in a heated debate on Tuesday during a CNN town hall moderated by Jake Tapper and Dana Bash. The topic: healthcare in America, and what role the government should play in facilitating access to health insurance and affordable treatment for American citizens.
Cruz unequivocally called for Obamacare to be swiftly repealed: “2010, 2014, 2016, I believe were a mandate from the voters. We’re tired of the premiums going up. We’re tired of the deductibles going up. Should Congress move swiftly to repeal Obamacare? Absolutely,” he said.
Sanders, however, argued that Obamacare’s repeal would harm millions across the country. “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,” he said.
While Cruz assured that any GOP-authored replacement to Obamacare would provide continuity of coverage and argued that its repeal would give people the ability to choose plans that better fit them, Sanders has repeatedly insisted upon a single-payer healthcare system and blasted Cruz’s vision of an Obamacare alternative.
Both Sanders and Cruz agreed that Big Pharma is a serious problem and they expressed an interest in teaming up to create legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate prices with the pharmaceutical industry.
Watch the debate below: