Sen. Bernie Sanders, challenged at Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate on how he would pay for universal health care and his other proposed programs, admitted income taxes on the middle class would have to go up — but maintained that the savings in medical expenses would more than offset the tax hike.
Sanders, who took the first question from NBC correspondent Savannah Guthrie, talked about his Medicare for All proposal for his allotted minute. But when Guthrie followed up and pressed him about taxes on the middle class, he conceded, “Yes, they will pay more in taxes.”
“We have a new vision for America,” Sanders began. “And at a time when we have three people in this country owning more wealth than the bottom half of America while 500,000 people are sleeping out on the streets today, we think it is time for change, real change. And by that, I mean that health care in my view is a human right and we have got to pass a Medicare for All single-payer system.
“Under that system, by the way, [the] vast majority of the people in this country will be paying significantly less for health care than they are right now.”
“I believe that education is the future for this country and that is why I believe we must make public colleges and universities tuition-free and eliminate student debt, and we do that by placing a tax on Wall Street.”
He continued: “Every proposal that I have brought forth is fully paid for.”
Guthrie said she would give Sanders “10 seconds just to answer the very direct question: Will you raise taxes for the middle class in a Sanders administration.”