Bernie Sanders splits from AOC and says Medicare for All is 'already a compromise'
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- Sanders split with AOC at a CNN town hall on Tuesday night, saying his signature Medicare for All plan was already a compromise.
- AOC said last week that passing a softer version of the plan would still be a significant progressive achievement.
- "But my view is that Medicare for All, the bill that we wrote, is in a sense already a compromise. It is a four-year transition period," Sanders said.
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Sen. Bernie Sanders split with one of his top campaign surrogates on Medicare for All on Tuesday night. He said his signature plan to enroll everyone in the US under a government-run health insurance system was already a compromise.
At a CNN town hall, Sanders distanced himself from Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said last week that passing a watered-down version of the legislation would be still represent a significant progressive achievement.
Asked about Ocasio-Cortez's comments, the Vermont senator initially praised the freshman congresswoman's achievements in her first year in the House. But he disputed her assessment of the plan.
"But my view is that Medicare for All, the bill that we wrote, is in a sense already a compromise. It is a four-year transition period," he said.
In the Huffington Post interview, Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged the uphill struggle to pass legislation that would virtually eliminate the private insurance industry and reconfigure almost a fifth of the American economy.
The New York congresswoman said a president "can't wave a magic wand and pass any legislation they want."
"The worst-case scenario? We compromise deeply and we end up getting a public option. Is that a nightmare? I don't think so," she said.
Much of Sanders' $50 trillion platform, which includes the Green New Deal and a plan to wipe out $1.6 trillion of student debt held by millions of Americans, would likely face significant barriers in Congress.
He's recently weighed dozens of executive orders on healthcare, the environment, and immigration meant to bypass a gridlocked Congress.