Bernie Sanders decided that the media would never give a fair shake to his bill proposing universal healthcare in America, so he sidestepped them by livestreaming a "Medicare for All town hall" where experts discussed the proposal, prompted by Sanders as a kind of talk-show host.
The event was noteworthy not just for its substance -- 100 minutes' worth of wonkish discussion of the fine points of universal healthcare models from Canada, Norway and elsewhere -- but for the incredible audience it drew, more than a million people tuned into the livestream.
It's another indicator that in the wake of the all-out Republican assault on the mild compromise of Obamacare, America is more ready than ever for a debate on real, national, universal healthcare.
The livestream was promoted by a coalition of left-wing vanguard organizations: the Young Turks, Attn and NowThis.
“Are you finding that more people in the business community going behind ideology and finding that Medicare for All would be good policy for them?” asked Sanders.
“Every day,” said Master.
Sanders, who largely sat and listened to his guests, clearly relished the chance to speak without the confines of a campaign or a TV show. After Kimmich compared the cost of health care with her tax burden, Sanders called himself “the recipient of 30-second ads that raised that issue” and went off.
“What people will say, is, ‘Oh, Sanders is trying to raise taxes,’ ” he said. “It’s true. Many people, not all, will pay more in taxes. But if I told you today that instead of paying $10,000 a year for health insurance, you could pay $7,000 in taxes and have comprehensive health-care coverage for your whole family? Well, what most Americas would say is: Where can I sign up?”
Bernie Sanders talks universal Medicare, and 1.1 million people click to watch him [David Weigel/Washington Post]
(via Naked Capitalism)