VOICES--While intra-party disagreement among Republicans and a nationwide grassroots effort to stop the cruel and unpopular healthcare reform bill known as Trumpcare undoubtedly fueled its collapse on Friday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Sunday morning made it quite clear that Democrats not cooperating with Donald Trump and the GOP's regressive agenda is not the problem that needs addressing on Capitol Hill.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa," Sanders told CNN's Dana Bash during an interview when she asked if he would reach across the aisle to Republicans and tell Democrats to "stop being intransigent" with Trump and the Republicans on healthcare.
Cutting off Bash with a smile, Sanders said, "Look, what rational people would say is, 'What are the problems? And how do we fix it?' Are deductibles too high? Of course they are. Are there some parts of the country where people don't have a choice? Yes, that's true. Let us do, among other things, a public option. Let us give people in every state of this country a public option from which they can choose. Let's talk about lowering the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 55. Let's deal with the greed of the pharmaceutical industry. Those are areas that we can work together on."
On Friday night, after the spectacular collapse of Trumpcare (officially the American Health Care Act of AHCA) in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, Sanders discussed the implications of the defeat and announced that he would soon introduce new Medicare for All legislation.
And on Sunday, speaking with CNN's Bash, Sanders again drew the connections between the downfall of the GOP plan and the need for a Medicare-for-All solution:
As Common Dreams reported Friday, the collapse of the AHCA has now opened the door for Democrats to go on the offensive when it comes to solving the real shortcomings of the nation's healthcare system and a growing number of progressive organizations and labor unions are now actively calling for, and organizing around, a demand for Medicare for All.
(Jon Queally writes for Common Dreams … where this perspective was first posted.)