Hillary Clinton challenges Bernie Sanders' health plan in the debate

The Democratic candidates spent much of Thursday's debate in "vigorous agreement," as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put it. However, the two candidates did present clashing viewpoints on how to best achieve their common goals, including universal healthcare.

Ms. Clinton honed in on her rival Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) healthcare plan, which he said at last week's town hall would cost the average American family $500 more in taxes, but save them $5,000 in healthcare costs.

"Every progressive economist who has analyzed that says that the numbers don't add up, and that's a promise that cannot be kept, and it's really important now that we are getting into the rest of the country that both of us are held accountable for explaining what we are proposing because, especially with healthcare, this is not about math," Ms. Clinton said.

Sen. Sanders addressed her criticisms by saying his plan would not dismantle the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, or the Children's Health Insurance Program. "I don't know what economists Secretary Clinton is talking to," he said, defending the $500 tax for $5,000 savings equation.

They also sparred about the reality of making Sen. Sanders' plan work.

"We are not England. We are not France. We inherited a system that was set up during World War II; 170 million Americans get health insurance right now through their employers," Ms. Clinton said. "What President [Barack] Obama succeeded in doing was to build on the healthcare system we have, to get us to 90 percent coverage. We have to get the other 10 percent of the way to 100," Ms. Clinton added, attacking Sen. Sanders' more ambitious proposal.

Though he did not offer more details about how the healthcare plan would work, Sen. Sanders underscored the feasibility of his plans and zinged his opponent. "Secretary Clinton, you're not in the White House yet," he said, adding, "Let us be clear that every proposal that I have introduced has been paid for."


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