Sen. Bernie Sanders on Fighting Climate Change and Eliminating Private Insurance

-For everything a candidate
has to go through, you look incredibly well-rested.
Is that accurate? -Not well-rested.
[ Laughter ] We’re hanging in there, though.
-You’re hanging in. You had — There was a climate
change forum last night. -Yup. -And we have another round of
debates coming up. And I was wondering if you
prefer a forum to a debate based on the fact that as far as
getting your messaging out, it must be nice to have
a longer chunk of time. -Absolutely. The debate format is just weird. You know, you’re
asked complicated — [ Laughter ] You’re asked
complicated questions. And then you got
30 seconds to respond. “Tell us what you’re going to do
about the healthcare crisis. All right, time’s up.” [ Laughter ] So, you know, the forum does
give you an opportunity to, you know, speak at some length. And CNN did a good job,
I thought. -Obviously, climate change
is something, certainly, the Democratic candidates are
all taking seriously. People are unveiling plans that maybe cost $4 trillion,
$5 trillion. You have a $16 trillion plan. Obviously, that’s the most — the highest price tag
of any of the plans. -Yup. -How do you explain to people
that, one, that’s how much money
it’s gonna take, and, two, that we can
actually pay for it? -Well, we actually
do pay for it. I mean, one of the ways we pay
for it is by doing away with $400 billion
in tax breaks and subsidies that go to
the fossil-fuel industry. [ Cheers and applause ] I mean, here is the bottom line
of this, Seth. And what the scientists are
telling us, not only, you know, that Donald Trump is living in a very far away
and dangerous world when he thinks
that climate change is a hoax. What they are telling us, that
if we don’t get our act together in fewer than 12 years, the
damage done by climate change in this country
and around the world will be damage
that cannot be repaired. And I think that we have a moral
responsibility for our children and future generations to do
everything that we can to make sure
that we leave them a planet that is healthy and habitable, one where there is not more
drought and more floods. I was in Paradise, California.
Do you remember Paradise? That town that burned down
in California. It was unbelievable.
It was a year ago. A town of 26,000 people —
86 people died. Some 18,000 structures
were burned. We’re looking at
what’s happening in the Bahamas right now,
which, you know, is intensified because of
climate change. This is what we have to look
forward to in years to come unless we bring the world
together and tell them that instead of spending a trillion
and a half dollars a year on weapons of destruction
designed to kill each other, maybe we pool our resources
and fight our common enemy, which is climate change. [ Cheers and applause ] -You have obviously,
from the very beginning, from even four years ago —
I think an issue people associate the most
with you is healthcare. And you’ve recently called
the corporate healthcare system, I believe, “crazy [bleep]”?
Was that — [ Laughter ]
-Uh, not quite. -Okay, sorry. -I think I used the word,
“obscene and barbaric.” [ Laughter ] But you’re not far off.
-Yeah. The gist — I think
I got the gist right. A lot of the other candidates have sort of came out
for Medicare for all But then have walked back
the idea of eliminating private insurance
altogether. Now, the elimination of private
insurance altogether, that actually does not poll
particularly well. Do you think that is being
misrepresented to people when they’re asked
that poll question? -Yeah, I do. I think if you say to people
we are going to do away with all of your premiums —
Just talked to a guy today. “How much are you paying
for premiums?” “Oh, a thousand dollars
a month.” That’s $12,000 a year. “What’s your deductible?”
“$4,000.” He’s paying $16,000 before
the insurance kicks in. Now, you can call it a premium. But if you call it
an insurance tax, alright, that looks a little
bit differently. So what we’re going to do
under Medicare for all is end all
out-of-pocket expenses, all premiums, all co-payments. You’re going to have
freedom of choice with regard to the doctor and hospital
you want to go to. And at the end of the day,
the overwhelming majority of the American people will be
paying less for healthcare out of a general tax base
than they do right now. Look, at the end of the day —
and this is the point — we are spending twice as much
per person on healthcare as the Canadians or any other
major country on Earth. And yet we have
87 million people uninsured or underinsured. 30,000 Americans die each year because they don’t get
to a doctor on time. We’re getting ripped off
by the drug companies who charge us the highest prices
in the world for prescription drugs. And they are not only greedy.
They are corrupt. I went up to Canada last month
with some people in the Midwest who are dealing with diabetes. We bought insulin. You know what
the differential was? It was one-tenth
of the price in Canada. And that’s because
the drug companies engage in price fixing. They’re ripping us off. And under my administration,
that will stop. Believe me, that will stop.
[ Cheers and applause ]