Bernie Sanders Says Medicare for All Would Provide "Quality Care" During Pandemic

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"A Medicare for All system is designed to provide quality care for all to do preventive work in order to prepare for some types of pandemics, not simply to make huge amounts of money for the insurance companies and the drug companies," Sanders said on 'Late Night.'

Bernie Sanders explained how Medicare for All would positively impact Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic during a visit to Late Night on Monday.

After host Seth Meyers noted that the pandemic has made people "re-evaluate the current system in health care," Sanders spoke about how this moment would be different if Medicare for All was in place. "Millions of people are losing their jobs and some 87 million people already did not have any health insurance or are underinsured," said Sanders.

"People are sitting home right now scared to death that somebody in their family is gonna come down with the virus. They don't know how they will even pay for the treatment they receive, let alone any other problems their families have," he continued.

Sanders next touched on how Americans pay "twice as much per person on health care as any other nation and yet our public health system is so weak." He added that doctors and nurses are running low on protective equipment to keep both themselves and their patients safe.

"A Medicare for All system is designed to provide quality care for all to do preventive work in order to prepare for some types of pandemics, not simply to make huge amounts of money for the insurance companies and the drug companies," he explained.

The presidential hopeful also spoke about his Senate floor speech last Wednesday that criticized Republicans for prioritizing corporate bailouts instead of a stimulus package that provides security for low-wage workers who have lost their jobs.

Sanders told Meyers that he used sarcasm to mask his outrage. "You have folks in the Senate, my Republican colleagues, who voted for a trillion dollars in tax breaks for the 1 percent and large corporations," he said.

The politician explained that the stimulus package makes more people eligible for unemployment and adds $600 to what someone would normally get from an unemployment check for four months.

"We had some of my Republican colleagues that said, 'Imagine there were some low-income workers who would actually earn more from their unemployment check than they previously did when they were making, you know, 10, 12 bucks an hour. We can't allow that to happen,'" he said. "To me, that is so ugly, so grotesque, so immoral that I felt compelled to speak out about it."

Sanders later spoke about how some of his opponents believe that we should accept that people will die from COVID-19.

"It speaks to the hypocrisy of these folks," he said, before noting that the country should be able to take care of doctors, nurses, EMT workers, police officers and firemen. "In some cases they're getting sick because they don't have the equipment that they need."

"The function of health care should not be to make $100 billion in profits last year for the drug companies and the insurance companies. It should be to create a system which guarantees health care to all. A system which has a strong public health component, so that we have doctors and nurses all over this country where today we have a lot of underserved areas," said Sanders. "And that we make sure that health care is a human right."

Sanders concluded by sharing that he hopes this moment makes people think about "how we got here and where we want to go." He added, "What are the lessons that we're learning from this? When this is all over, and it will be over, do we simply go back to the same old, same old?"

Watch the full segment below.