Sen. Bernie Sanders: 'Medicare for all' is 'not a radical idea'

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, discusses GOP tax reform and his universal health care proposal on "This Week."
5:10 | 10/01/17

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Transcript for Sen. Bernie Sanders: 'Medicare for all' is 'not a radical idea'
Bernie Sanders. Thank you for joining us. Good to be with you. You heard secretary mnuchin. The goal is no tax cuts for the wealthy. Huge benefits for the piddle class. A cut in the deficit by $1 trillion in the next ten years. You ready to sign on? Not quite, George. Think everything he said is dead wrong. No tax breaks for the rich. They are repealing the estate tax. The estate tax only applies to the top two-tenths of 1%. Millionaires and billionaires like the Walton family of Walmart. Like the Koch brothers family. Like the trump family. $269 billion in tax breaks. This is not a tax break for the rich? I don't know what a tax break for the rich is. The tax policy institute, in fact, has estimated based on the information that they now have, that at the end of ten years, 80%, 8-0% of all of the tax benefits go to the top 1%. Further, in the midst of all of this stuff, there is a $450 billion cut in medicare. Now, you may remember that when trump ran for president, he promised working families, oh, he's not going to cut medicaid. A $1 trillion cut in medicaid. A $450 billion cut in medicare. What this is is a massive transfer of wealth. It's the robin hood principle in reverse. Taking from working families and low-income people and giving to it the superrich and creating a $1.5 trillion deficit. As you know, the president is actively quoting Democrats. He appeared in Indiana with senator Donnelly. Joe Manchin. All of them up in 2018. If a Democrat nor votes for this bill, will you support a primary challenge? Look, the issue is, I would hope that Democrats from one end of this country to the other would be fighting this proposal. This is not politics, George. This is just really, bad policy. And I'm not clear why anybody would support a proposal which gives massive amounts of tax breaks to the people who don't need it. At a time of incredible income and wealth inequality in America. If anything, right now, what we must be demanding is that the wealthiest people in the country start finally paying their fair share of the taxes. What would that be? I'm sorry? What would that be? What should the top rate be? Well, that's something we have to work upon but when you have the top one-tenth of 1% now owning almost as much wealth As the bottom 90%, sit very clear to me that the wealthiest people in the country have to start paying their fair share. Major corporations making billions a year in profits, stashing their money in the cayman islands and bermuda. Not paying a nickel in taxes. Any tax cuts you would sport right now? I think we have to focus on the immediates of the middle class and working families of this country. Those are the people that need help. Not the top 1%. What would that mean? Think you can raise the standard deduction. Think what trump was talking sabt right, but he gives with one hand and takes away with the other by repealing the personal exems. We need to expand and improve the earned income tax credit to help working families. There's a lot that can be done. Bottom line is when you have mass I have income and wealth inequality. When the rich are getting richer and most Americans are getting poorer, you give tax breaks to the people in need. You have more than a dozen Democrats supporting your medicare for all plan. How do you respond to those who say you're pulling the party too far to the left? And a it fair to say given your activities, you're not ruling out another run for president in 2020? Well, let me just say that the idea of a medicare forall, the idea that the United States of America should join ever other major country on ert in guaranteeing health care to every man, bomb, and child. This is not a radical idea. In fact, poll after poll shows a majority of the American people support that idea. People want to know why, as nation, George, we're spending twice as much per capita on health care as the people in Canada on the Europe as our outcomes are not as good. We pay the highest prices for prescri0tion drugs. I don't see this as a radical idea. It's an idea more and more people want. Medicare is a very popular program. It's the most popular health insurance program in the country. Let's expand to it everybody. Senator Sanders, thank you for your time. Thank you.

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

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