town hall

Even the crowd participating in Fox News’ town hall with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) likes his single-payer healthcare plan.

Sanders’ town hall was full of surprising moments, like when the Vermont senator pushed back on moderators Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum when they suggested he was being hypocritical in pushing for higher taxes on millionaires despite being a millionaire. However, the biggest moment of the town hall came when Sanders was asked about his recently unveiled Medicare for All bill.

Sen. Sanders admitted to the crowd — which came from an industrial Pennsylvania town that voted for Donald Trump in 2016 despite voting for Barack Obama both in 2008 and 2012 — that while their taxes may increase somewhat in order to pay for the program, their overall household healthcare costs would drop significantly, as his plan would no longer require families pay premiums and deductibles to private health insurance companies.

Then, Bret Baier decided to ask audience members who currently have employer-sponsored healthcare for a show of hands indicating their support for Sanders’ plan. To his astonishment, hands not only went up, but the entire room erupted into cheers and applause.

The support for Medicare for All, even from a pro-Trump town, should come as no surprise to those who have ben keeping up with polls asking respondents about their support of a single-payer, Medicare for All-type program. In January, for example, a Harvard-Harris poll found that 68% of Americans thought that “providing health insurance coverage for everyone through a taxpayer-funded national plan, like Medicare for All” should be a top priority for Congress. 84% of Democrats, 70% of independents, and even 38% of Republicans agreed with that statement.

Even a report from the right-leaning, Koch-funded Mercatus Center found that a Medicare for All system would actually be around $2 trillion cheaper over a ten-year period than the current healthcare system. The U.S. remains the only wealthy, developed nation in the world that doesn’t have some form of universal healthcare.

 

Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.

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