The chances of President Donald Trump ever having some monumental epiphany about truthfulness and integrity are essentially nil. But coming off his worst week yet of the most disastrous presidential administration in the country’s history, the great “dealmaker” might want to pay attention to what Sen. Bernie Sanders was doing over the weekend.
Sanders has illuminated the path of truth by actually keeping a campaign promise to push for single-payer health coverage under a plan he calls “Medicare for All.”
Speaking at a town hall meeting in Vermont on Saturday—less than 24 hours after the Republicans’ attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act exploded like the Hindenburg—Sanders promised to introduce a single-payer health care bill “within a couple of weeks,” Vermont Public Radio reported. The idea is similar to legislation he proposed six years ago.
“It is a common sense proposal, and I think once the American people understand it, we can go forward with it,” he said after the town hall, according to VPR.
Vermont Rep. Peter Welch promised to introduce the same bill in the House. While neither politician actually believes such a piece of legislation will ever survive a Republican-controlled Congress and White House, Welch said it was important to set high goals so that the U.S. can strive to be like “any industrialized country” by offering universal access to health care at an affordable cost.
On Sunday, Sanders appeared on CNN’s State of the Union to confirm his promise.
“Ideally, where we should be going is to join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all people as a right, and that’s why I’m going to introduce a ‘Medicare for All’ single-payer program,” he said.
Sanders also acknowledged he would be open to working with Trump to bring prescription drug costs down.
So if the president is looking for any type of redemption from the short-lived calamity that was the GOP’s American Health Care Act, this is his golden opportunity. Trump had repeatedly promised he would replace Obamacare with a plan that provided “insurance for everybody,” claiming as recently as last January that such a plan was nearing completion, according to The Washington Post. (We all saw how that worked out.)
And as early as September 2015, Trump promised to “take care of everybody,” a statement he repeated endlessly on the campaign trail. “You will end up with great health care for a fraction of the price and that will take place immediately after we go in,” he said in February 2016, reports ThinkProgress.
Well, Mr. President, here’s your chance to both repair your tanked reputation (to the extent that it’s possible) and fulfill one of your boastful campaign promises. Sanders has given you an out.