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September 24th, 2013
07:36 PM ET

Bernie Sanders: Obamacare is a ‘good Republican program’

Washington (CNN) – Noted Senate liberal Bernie Sanders stood in support of Obamacare Tuesday even while saying the bill doesn’t go nearly far enough.

Sanders, an Independent who caucuses with Senate Democrats, reiterated his support of a universal single-payer Medicare for all, inspired by health care programs in Europe. On CNN’s Crossfire, he called the Affordable Care Act that Congress passed in 2010 a “good Republican program,” referring to the Massachusetts program introduced by former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney that served as the blueprint for what has come to be known as Obamacare.


Sen. Lindsey Graham: Obamacare stinks

Sen. Lindsey Graham says he supports certain elements of Obamacare but says the overall plan is bad for jobs.

Sanders: Americans hurting very badly

Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bernie Sanders take over Crossfire and debate Obamacare, taxes and entitlements.

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Filed under: Bernie Sanders • Debates • Health care • Lindsey Graham • Newt Gingrich • Van Jones
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Bubba

    Obamacare is an excellent Republican idea. Too bad the GOP lacked the intestinal fortitude to keep it.
    Do remember to call it Obamacare after it becomes part of the American landscape. It is, after all, Obama that made it happen. It is Obama, who did not cower before a minority group of Tea Party zealots. It is Obama who put all of America first.

    October 8, 2013 at 12:23 am | Reply
  2. MartyGRMI

    Someone shut that man up! (Bernie Sanders). The top .1% doesn't want someone talking the truth on TV. Cheers to the best senator America has.

    October 2, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  3. Jim

    heres what i saw in those little clips. the independent senator refused to reform entitlements in favor of a more fair tax tax code. saying the ACA is a good program for republicans... no republicans voted for it when it was passed due to their minority in congress. further more the idea of playing some sad blame game instead of crossing the aisle and working together to come to a common group is sad on BOTH parties(that includes the independent dem from vermont). we deserve better than that, but we vote for career politicians and wonder why we are here... do the math people!

    October 2, 2013 at 2:51 am | Reply
  4. Bubba

    Never understood why Republicans dislike Obamacare, since most are old and decaying, and should be the ones who use it most.

    September 30, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Reply
  5. Fish

    I think Bernie Sanders should run for President a good independent mind with common sense is worth a pot of gold!!!

    September 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  6. Bart Holloway

    Why doesn't someone ask all these politicians how they would like not having their own private insurance? People die everyday in this country without good insurance at all, or no insurance at all. Meanwhile politicians sit doing nothing while
    American citizens pay their salaries and private insurance. What makes you better than the rest of the American people?

    September 28, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  7. Keith Sainflusa

    Bottom line: Healthcare costs are disproportionate with the rest of the world, especially considering the health of Americans. Costs are rising at a totally unsustainable rate. Graham might be right that Obamacare stinks, but what has he or any other of the deadbeat Republicans proposed as an alternative? The whole program was structured like Romneycare in MA and that was heavily influenced by the Heritage Foundation! When all Republicans do is whine about Democrats, they're worthless in leadership positions. Frankly I think Democrats stink, but Republicans are just plain rotten. Worst of all, Americans just glide aimlessly onward ignoring the epic fiscal challenges on the horizon and loosely choosing a party affiliation much like they choose a sports franchise to support. No wonder we're in a state of decline. We deserve it.

    September 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Reply
    • Herbert Jones

      I will not watch Crossfire as long as Gingrich is there. I will not listen to such an arrogant man.

      September 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Reply
      • simplyput

        Listen, Learn, Help, and Lead.

        October 1, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  8. James

    Sanders: "1 in 4 corporations doesn't pay a nickel in taxes. And Republicans say 'Oh! We have to cut 4 million people from food stamps ..."

    Graham: "Bernie , if i was willing to flatten the tax code and take deductions away from the wealthy to pay down debt would you reform entitlements by extending the age..."

    Sanders: "Absolutely not."

    Graham: "I didn't think so. A moment of bipartisanship that quickly passed. Ha ha ha"

    Does anyone see anything "bipartisan" in that? Haven't Republicans been trying to get a flat tax code instead of the graduated income tax since 1980?

    Isn't this like saying, "If we agree to flatten the tax code (like we have been trying to do since the 1980s), would you cut entitlements even farther than we have managed since then, as well?"

    But. Maybe Lindsey was just joking. 4 million Amercians going hungry? Ha ha ha? And, how many of those are children? Ha Ha Ha?


    September 25, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Reply
    • Terry

      List the Corporations that don't pay taxes.

      September 27, 2013 at 12:38 am | Reply
      • CJ

        This is at put your search in for "List the Corporations that don't pay taxes." you should get the link in your search.

        The firms chosen are top-earners who have filed 10-K reports through 2012. Their US Tax figures represent the five-year total of "current" payments.

        The 64 corporate teams paid just over 8% in taxes over the five-year period.

        The Slink Sixteen

        General Electric: The worst tax record over five years, with $81 billion in profits and a $3 billion refund.

        Boeing: In addition to receiving a refund despite $21.5 billion in profits, the company ranked high in job cutting, underfunded pensions, and contractor misconduct.

        Exxon Mobil: Made by far the largest profits in the group, but paid less than 1% in U.S. taxes, and yet received oil subsidies along with their tax breaks. Unabashedly reports a 2012 "theoretical tax" of over $27 billion, almost 90% of its total income tax expense. The company was also near the top in contractor misconduct.

        Verizon: Second worst tax record, with a refund despite $48 billion in profits.

        Kraft Foods: Received a refund from the public despite $13.5 billion in profits. Also a leading job-cutter.

        Citigroup: One of the five big banks who are estimated to get a bailout/refund from the American public amounting to three cents from every tax dollar.

        Dow Chemical: Received a refund despite almost $10 billion in profits.

        IBM: Paid less than 3% in taxes while ranking as one of the leading job cutters, and near the top in contractor misconduct.

        Chevron: In addition to a meager 4.3% tax rate and a share of oil subsidies, the company has been the main beneficiary of tax-exempt government bonds.

        FedEx: The company paid less than 5% in federal taxes while relying on the publicly-funded Post Office to deliver thirty percent of its ground packages.

        Honeywell: Less than 6% in taxes, a leading job cutter, near the top in instances of contractor misconduct, and run by the "Fix the Debt" CEO with the largest pension fund.

        An 8% tax rate, a leader in job cuts and underfunded pensions, and in the top 20 of contractor misconduct instances.

        Notable for an 8.4% tax rate, job cuts, offshore holdings, and the top U.S. spot on the contractor misconduct dollar list.

        Apple: Where to begin? Avoiding federal taxes, avoiding state taxes, hiding overseas earnings, engaging in intellectual property schemes, using the "Double Irish" to transfer profits from Europe to Bermuda, and underpaying its store workers despite conducting most of its product and research development in the United States.

        Pfizer: One of the leaders in stockpiling untaxed profits overseas, and right behind Merck in contractor misconduct dollars.

        Google: A master at the "Double Irish" revenue shift to Bermuda tax havens, while using tax loopholes to bring a lot of the money back to the U.S. without paying taxes on it. Recognized as one of the world's biggest tax avoiders.

        Microsoft: Named as one of the biggest offshore hoarders while using tax strategies to bring much of their untaxed money back to the U.S., where it also avoids state taxes.

        Just go to their website to see page two of their report. or take the .org website above and add the following to it "/corporate-accountability-and-workplace/16-giant-corporations-have-basically-stopped-paying-taxes" without the quotes.

        September 27, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Whatever


      October 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  9. marc

    Can you please post the episodes in their entirety as an option. My attention span is longer than a gerbil's and I think a lot of people would like to view it this way.

    September 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  10. Charles Brossman

    The GOP's BS answer to everything is that a "free market system" will fix it. Ask yourself the following:
    1. How many of the "Home Depot's" and other companies cutting healthcare benefits, or reducing hours for employees are doing it for political versus economical purposes?
    2. Do you really think that companies like Wal-Mart or Home Depot can't afford decent healthcare for their employees?
    3. What conservative companies and GOP politicians care about more is shareholder value, versus the general well being of their fellow Americans.
    4. Small companies who couldn't afford coverage for employees will likely be able to provide it for the first time because of the Affordable Healthcare Act.
    5. We only lose jobs because of healthcare when greedy conservatives would rather give up human capital than lose marginal profits or revenues, when they are already vastly profitable in many cases. I would pay more for general goods, food, etc. for people to have healthcare as a right.

    This country is turning purple, and will be eventually blue once conservatives kick the bucket and we enact new immigration laws. It's only a matter of time. Down with gerrymandering!

    September 24, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Reply
    • CJ

      Healthcare is just an excuse. Entitlements to me are Jobs, food, Social Security, Education housing and healthcare. Then you have the rest. Call these seven the top seven, but everything else is below this. These I call my pursuit to happiness. Nothing should be standing in the way of these seven.

      I hate the economy, I hate the healthcare we have. Telling someone they don't deserve to eat is a slap in the face. Telling someone they are not in the top two percent so therefore they can't have good healthcare is also a slap in the face. This is what is happening in America just look at the Senators health care plans and compare it to consumers.

      Charles Brossman I have not seen one good plan in decades for creating new jobs. Lets talk tech here. America has some bright minds. So why doesn't America pick a few fields like other Countries do and push to create and innovate those fields? Everyone is pushing STEM in the schools, but once you graduate College those STEM jobs are not there. Have you seen our solar power plants? They are a joke, Most close within five years and the cost is ridiculous. It should not be like this.

      September 25, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Reply
    • Durundal

      Look, the market works but only under circumstances of 'perfect information' and without barriers to entry. In addition there is the fact that under a free market system, there is the tendency to under-provide public goods (roads, etc). Everyone who bothered to learn anything about our economy knows there are caveats that create temporary 'bubbles' and distortions: the real problem are the idiots who think their piggy bank sense functions identically to national economies and thus feel entitled by their 'freedoms' to state dumb opinions.

      September 26, 2013 at 9:00 am | Reply
  11. Tony

    This is my first time watching Crossfire and I'm hooked. Very good discussion today with Graham and Sanders.

    September 24, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Reply

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