Senator Bernie Sanders Visits Bay Area to Boost Health Care Plan - NBC Bay Area
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Senator Bernie Sanders Visits Bay Area to Boost Health Care Plan

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    Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders visited San Francisco Friday to boost a health care plan he says will end a national crisis. Sam Brock reports.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 22, 2017)

    Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders visited San Francisco Friday to boost a health care plan he says will end a national crisis.

    "Today we stand together in saying that in this great country health care is a right, not a privilege!" Sanders said to a crowd cheering him at Yerba Buena Gardens.

    California nurses collectively cheered for Sanders' bill delivering universal healthcare, drawing upon experiences they have had with patients inside their hospital walls.

    "They have insurance, but because of the high deductibles and high premiums, they're putting off care," said Catherine Kennedy, a member of the California Nurses Association Board of Directors. "So when they come to our hospitals they're sicker. People are dying, and they're suffering."

    As developments on Friday cast doubt on Republicans' ability to pull off an Obamacare repeal, there is also no reason to believe a single-payer system will gain traction in Washington, either.

    "What he didn't do is say what it is going to cost, or how it is going to be paid for," said Sally Pipes, CEO of San Francisco-based free market think tank Pacific Research Institute.

    Pipes frets Sanders' plan will not only run a tab of trillions through heavy taxation, but also might mirror problems faced by other single-payer countries.

    "It is really a total government takeover and as with any single-payer system, such as Canada's where I'm from, there would be long waiting lists for care, care would be rationed, and there would be lack of access to the latest treatment and technologies."

    As it stands right now, all sides agree an exorbitant sum of money goes to paying for American health care.

    Healthcare was not Sanders' only issue during his Bay Area visit After his speech he moved over to San Francisco City College to applaud their new tuition-free program, calling it a model others should follow.

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