Many voters in New Hampshire will have a big decision to make in the next several days. The final Democratic presidential debate before New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary took place at St. Anselm College in Manchester Friday night.
As Local 22’s own Lauren Maloney reported live just after the conclusion of the debate, the evening featured Pete Buttigieg being questioned — and perhaps even attacked — by the other Democratic hopefuls. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders furthered the line of thought of the South Bend, Indiana mayor taking money from billionaires. The candidates discussed experience, gun control, women’s health issues and the U.S. Supreme Court. Several of them had the following exchange on health care:
“When they did it in Vermont, what happened? They doubled the state income tax and then had a 14% tax on withholding, and they finally did away with it,” former Vice President Joe Biden said. “So, how much is it going to cost? If you ask Bernie that — I’ll ask him again tonight sometime — if you ask Bernie that, he says, ‘go figure. I don’t know; we’ll find out’. I think that was on CBS; he said ‘we’ll find out’ or something to that effect. Imagine — you’re going to unite the country, walking into the Congress, saying, ‘I’ve got this bill; it’s going to require Medicare for everybody. I can’t tell you how much it’s going to cost; we’ll find out later. It’s likely to be double everything we spend in the federal government.’ Who do you think is going to get that passed? I busted my neck getting Obamacare passed, getting every Democratic vote. I know how hard it is.”
“Well, for a start, what the studies show — if we do what Joe wants, we’ll be spending some $50 trillion on health care over the next ten years,” Sanders said. “That’s the status quo, Joe; that’s what (the U.S. Department of) Health and Human Services says. What we have got to do is understand — simple question, Joe — we are spending twice as much per capita on health care as do the people of any other country. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the health care industry last year made $100 billion in profit. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we are wasting $500 billion a year trying to administer thousand and thousands of different plans. What Medicare for All will do is save the average American substantial sums of money. Substantial. It’ll be much less expensive than your plan. And we will expand Medicare to include dental care, eyeglasses, hearing aids and home health care as well.”
“I have long believed that the way that we expand health care to more people and bring down premiums is by building on the Affordable Care Act with a nonprofit public option,” Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said.
The New Hampshire takes place on Tuesday.