'Many people will not be able to afford' a public option: Sen. Bernie Sanders

On "This Week" George Stephanopoulos interviews 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders on Medicare for all, President Trump meeting Kim Jong Un and busing.
8:09 | 06/30/19

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Transcript for 'Many people will not be able to afford' a public option: Sen. Bernie Sanders
Everybody said our ideas are crazy and wild and extreme. And now, it turns out all of the other candidates are saying what we said four years ago. Bernie Sanders campaigning in New Hampshire on Saturday. He joins us live from new Hampshire this morning. Senator Sanders, thanks for joining us this morning. Let's dive into one of those ideas right away. You just heard Julian Castro and Nate silver on this idea of medicare for all. They say it's a popular program. But want to pick up on that Kaiser family poll, when you talk about eliminating private insurance, support flips. It gets even worse when you tell Americans they'll have to pay more taxes, which you conceded. It flips. It appears you're pushing something people say they don't No, we're taking on the pharmaceutical industry, which charges us the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs while they make tens of billions of dollars in profit. We're going to lower prescription drug costs in this country by 50%. We're taking on the insurance company, also making massive profits. Now, if you tell the American people what medicare for all really is, and that is for the elderly, we're going to expand benefits to include dental care, hearing AIDS and eyeglasses. And most importantly, when you tell the American people, and small businesses, that they are no longer going to have to pay any premiums, any deductibles, any co-payments and for the overwhelming majority of people, health care will be much less expensive under medicare-for-all. By the way, medicare today is the most popular health insurance program in the country. Private health insurance isn't particularly popular. And when you tell people all of that, then your numbers go up. Bottom line here is, the united States must end the international embarrassment of being the only major country on Earth not to guarantee health care to all people as a right. We have some 80 million people in the country who are uninsured or underinsured. Can't afford to go to doctor without did stress. And as you know for a lot of Democrats, the question is, how you get there, and it's true. You tell people you're going to raise their taxes, support goes down. That's led to some of your opponents to say, how about medicare for everyone who wants it, and if it works, this public option works, then the private health insurance is going to wither away anyway. Well, two things. Again, it's not a question of paying more taxes or not. It's a question of not paying any premiums. If I said to you, George, let's say, you're self-employed and you're spending $15,000 out of pocket expenses. I said, George, you're going to pay $7,000, $8,000 more in taxes but you won't have to pay your premiums. You're probably going to say, where can I sign up? People are going to spend less. I'll tell you what I might say, senator, those taxes are going to be certain. Those taxes are coming no matter what with the hope that your program is going to work? Well, you don't have the taxes unless you have the program. So, the bottom line here is, we have a dysfunctional health care system. The overwhelming majority of the American people are sick and tired of getting ripped off by the pharmaceutical industry. Let me say it again, we're going to take on the drug companies. And every American, whether you're rich or poor, is entitled to health care as a human right. Look, at the end of the day, life expectancy in the united States today is in huge decline. You have county after county where people don't even have a doctor. We need broad changes in our health care system. You talked about a public option, many people won't be able to afford a public option. What the American people got to decide is one simple question, George -- do we create a health care system guaranteeing health care to all people without insurance companies and drug companies making huge profits and distorting health care in America? That's the issue and I think American people will stand with me on that issue. Debate will continue over the course of this campaign. I want you to get to weigh in on president trump walking into North Korea. In the past weeks, you have praised his engagement with Kim Jong-un. We just heard Julian Castro say, what he's actually doing is growing the strength of a dictator. Well, the concern here is his incredible inconsistencies. I have no problem with him sitting down with Kim Jong-un in North Korea or any place else. But I don't want it to be a simply photo opportunity. The whole world's media was atrakted there. What's going to happen tomorrow and the next day? He has weakened the state department. If we're going to bring peace to this world we need a strong state department. We need to move forward diplomatically not just do photo opportunities. Right now, while he's meeting with Kim Jong-un, he's still provocative in terms of almost moving toward a war with Iran. He vetoed legislation that I supported and that we won in the senate and the house which would get the United States out of the horrific war in Yemen, which is led by the brutal dictator Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. I don't have a problem with him sitting down and negotiating with our adversaries. We need real diplomacy. So you don't buy the argument, growing Kim Jong-un's legitimizing the nuclear weapons -- I think sitting down with our adversaries is not a bad idea. I wish he would do that in the Middle East as well and in the persian gulf. I wish he would sit down with the dictatorship in Saudi Arabia and bring Iran into the discussion. Tell those people we are sick and tired of spending trillions of dollars because they keep going to war against each other. Bring them to a table, let's work out some lasting peace in the region. I don't have a problem with on the other hand, we also know you have a president who seems to love authoritarian people. Whether it's Mohammad bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, or North Korea, you should sit down and negotiate with them. In the case of North Korea, if we can get rid of nuclear weapons there that's a threat to Europe and the United States, that would be a very good thing. I want to bring up something in the debate between kamala Harris and Joe Biden, raising his opposition to busing back in the 1970s. I want to bring the debate forward. You're concerned about the idea of resegregation of our schools. Does that mean busing should be on the table today? Well, I think -- resegregation is a very, very serious problem. The federal government has failed in fighting for fair housing legislation. We need basically in this country, well-funded public schools. We need to honor our teachers, respect teachers, make sure they're earning a living wage. We need to take care of those schools who have a lot of kids who are in some cases actually hungry coming from troubled families. We need to build public education in this country. We need to make sure that kids go to community schools, which are integratednd that means, we have to focus on fair housing legislation and enforcement. But does that almost mean busing? Your website comes out you're repealing the ban on funding for busing? No, busing is certainly an option that's necessarily in certain cases. It's not the optimal. Does anyone think the idea to put a kid on the bus, travel an hour to another school, to another neighborhood that she doesn't know? That's the optimal. The optimal is to have great community schools that are integrated. Senator Bernie Sanders, thanks for your time this morning. Thank you. Roundtable is up next. We'll be right back.roundtable is up next.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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