Anderson: Sanders Schools Cruz on Why We Need ‘Medicare for All’

Labor News

Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz debate the repeal of the Affordable Care Act at a CNN debate on Tuesday, February 7, 2017.

Reprinted from In These Times by Theo Anderson on February 7, 2017.

“About halfway through CNN’s Tuesday evening debate between Senators Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz, Sanders tried to pin Cruz down on a fundamental question: Is healthcare a right?” writes Theo Anderson in In These Times.

“Cruz circled around the question, talking about rights as protections from government overreach. The right to guns came up, naturally, and  he got nearly misty eyed talking about the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. What he believed in, Cruz said, was the right to access to healthcare. Sanders pounced. If you can’t afford healthcare, he said, ‘Access doesn’t mean a damn thing.’ It was the most clarifying exchange of the differences between two men at the far poles of U.S. politics.

“CNN billed the topic of the debate at the future of the Affordable Care Act, but it wasn’t really that. Sanders was cast in the role of defending the ACA, which he did dutifully but half-heartedly, when he wasn’t pulling the discussion to what he really wanted to talk about: the need for a a ‘simple,’ Medicare-for-all system, which was a major part of his platform as a candidate, and which he asked the audience to ‘please join me and fight for.’ …

In These Times 2/7

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at

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