Bernie Sanders in Covington vows 'Medicare for all' program, defeat of Republican health care bill

COVINGTON, Ky. -- Sen. Bernie Sanders said he would introduce a “Medicare for all” program after the Republicans’ current health care bill failed.

Sanders, a former presidential candidate and longtime proponent of universal health care, held a “Care not Cuts” rally Sunday at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center to voice his opposition to Republicans' health care bill.

“As soon as we defeat this disastrous bill, I will be introducing a Medicare for all, single-payer program,” Sanders said.

Sanders also called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to rescind his support of the plan.

Covington police said 150 people attended the event. Numerous attendees told 9 On Your Side that the officers' estimate was off, and at least 1,000 people were in attendance.

Watch Sanders' full speech in the player below:

 

The health care legislation working its way through Congress would do much more than its stated purpose of repealing and replacing Obamacare. It would make the most far-reaching changes and deepest cuts to Medicaid in the program's 52-year history. The Congressional Budget Office estimated it would leave 22 million Americans uninsured by 2027.

“We will not support a bill which takes from the most vulnerable people in our country -- people who are disabled, people who are sick, the elderly, children,” Sanders said.

The Washington Post reported June 28 that McConnell, a Republican, was struggling to create a version of the bill that could satisfy enough of his colleagues to stand a chance of being passed. Sanders, meanwhile, called the BCRA "barbaric."

McConnell has been trying to rally support for the bull during the Fourth of July recess. Supporters of the bill say it’s necessary because the Affordable Care Act is failing, and insurance companies are pulling out of the program.

Some who oppose the Republicans’ version of the bill, like Sanders supporter Elliot Bokeno, say the bill would negatively impact those who are dependent on Medicaid.

“Because of programs funded by Medicare, children with disabilities across the country are able to get therapy and treatments they need to not only survive, but go out in the real world and to do really big things,” Bokeno said.

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