Tapper, who is well-known for criticizing both sides of the political aisle when need be, was not impressed.
When Sanders stated that he would be introducing single-payer legislation into the Senate soon, Tapper reminded him of the system’s repeated failures.
“Let’s talk about single-payer,” Tapper said, “because it was attempted in your home state of Vermont, and it didn’t work because they couldn’t get the funding, because it would be too expensive, the Democratic governor said.”
The effort would have clearly harmed Vermont’s economy, imposing a “double digit payroll tax on small businesses, as well as a 9.5 percent premium assessment on individuals.”
“And, then recently, it failed in California as well. Democrats again, not able to come up with a way to pay for it,” Tapper continued.
“These are cobalt blue states, Vermont and California,” Tapper argued, “where people wanted single-payer, and there were problems because it would cost too much.”
“How do you make it national if you can’t even get it in Vermont and California?” he asked.
“Well it’s not a — no, no, no, no. Let’s — Jake — let’s be, let’s be careful about this. A single-payer health care system, in my view, and according to studies that I have seen, would save the average family significant sums of money,” Sanders, clearly uncomfortable, argued.
“And what Republicans sometimes do is confuse the issue, and they say, ‘well, you’re going to pay more in taxes.’ What they forget to tell you is that if you were a family of four now paying $15,000 or $20,000 per year in private health insurance, you’re not going to be paying that at all,” Sanders said.
Tapper continued to grill Sanders, asking, “Why couldn’t this happen in Vermont then? Vermont would seem to be a perfect test case.”
“It passed the Senate, it’s now gone to the House, and that debate will continue,” Sanders said, ignoring the fact that the California Assembly democratic speaker, recently referred the bill to committee “until further notice” because of its “fatal flaws.”
Hats off to Tapper for holding both sides accountable.