Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., says he would “absolutely” give taxpayer-funded health care benefits to illegal immigrants, if given the option.
Sanders made the statement after offering remarks about his “Medicare for All” policy proposal at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials candidate forum on Friday in Miami.
“Literally starting yesterday, the insurance companies and the drug companies are starting to spend tens and tens of millions of dollars to fight against Medicare for All,” Sanders said. “And we will organize the American people around the concept that all people in this country have the right to health care and at the end of the day we are going to win that struggle.”
When asked by an event moderator whether or not he would include the “11 million undocumented immigrants” in his statements, Sanders responded: “Absolutely. When I talk about health care being a human right, last time I heard that undocumented people are human beings as well.”
“This is unfair to America’s seniors who have worked hard and paid into Medicare their whole life!” Trump 2020 campaign rapid response director Andrew Clark said of the idea.
During his speech, Sanders also acknowledged that government-run health care indeed comes with flaws.
“I will not deny that every country on earth that has a national health care program all have problems,” Sanders said.
However, the senator chalked those problems up to “the nature of health care and a changing technology.”
A 2018 Mercatus Center estimate put the cost of Sanders’ plan around $32.6 trillion over 10 years. However, that estimate does not include the costs of putting illegal immigrants on the taxpayer dime after several months of record-breaking apprehension numbers at the southern border, as has been the case so far in 2019.