DES MOINES, Iowa — One man lamented the loss of his father, a Korean War veteran, who died Saturday. Another man talked about how he and his wife are both battling Lyme’s Disease and the bills that come with it. A woman shared her fears of going broke as she pays for her husband’s care while he suffers dementia. They were all part of a few dozen people assembled around U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a Democratic presidential candidate, at a Monday campaign event in Des Moines.
Sanders spent much of the time listening to stories of people struggling with the cost of health care, a problem Sanders says that he can eliminate if the country adopts his Medicare for All plan. “The day will come soon that health care will be a right for everyone in this country,” Sanders told the crowd.
He refrained from criticizing fellow candidate, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. But he did draw a distinction, since she is also campaigning on Medicare for All. “Senator Warren and I both support the legislation that I wrote. And that is the only way we go forward to guarantee quality health care to all people and save the average person money,” Sanders explained, “She has a different way to fund it than I do. I think mine is a little bit better. She will probably argue with me.”
Both candidates call for raising taxes on the wealthy and big corporations to help raise the tens of trillions of dollars that would be needed to turn over almost all of the health care system to the federal government. Warren maintains that she won’t have to raise taxes on the middle class to offset a system where Americans would no longer have to pay insurance premiums and deductibles. Sanders believes raising taxes on the middle class would be necessary to pay for the program. He cited an example of what to expect saying a family making $60,000 a year would pay $1,200 in federal taxes under his plan.