Lindsey Graham says most Democrats would 'jump out the window' if they had to vote on Medicare for All

Lindsey Graham
Sen. Lindsey Graham.Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
  • Graham pushed Sanders to hold a vote on his signature Medicare for All proposal.

  • He said Democrats "would rather jump out the window" instead of vote on it.

  • Sanders is a leading Medicare for All advocate, but it has no path to becoming law soon.

Color Sen. Lindsay Graham skeptical when it comes to whether Democrats will ever sign onto Medicare for All.

On Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders held a Senate Budget Committee hearing about Medicare for All, giving an impassioned speech on one of his signature issues.

"I'm hoping that after this speech that you will be putting your idea up for a vote," Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said Thursday at the Senate Budget Committee hearing. "And if not, why not? Because most of your colleagues would rather jump out the window if they had to vote on this."

In prepared remarks, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said millions of Americans understand that the current healthcare system is "dysfunctional, extraordinarily wasteful and expensive, and cruel."

"Families should not be driven into financial ruin because someone became seriously ill," Sanders said. "How insane is that?"

Graham's bet is the proposal would split Democrats if they ever voted on it, which is unlikely.

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Sanders is among the measure's most ardent supporters in Congress. It would overhaul the nation's health insurance system, eliminating the private insurance sector and placing every American onto a single federal insurer.

"Maybe, just maybe, Congress should represent the American people, and not lobbyists and large corporations," Sanders said in his opening remarks.

"Guaranteeing healthcare as a right is important to the American people, not just from a moral and financial perspective — it also happens to be what the majority of the American people want," he added.

The plan is popular among liberal Democrats but has no path to becoming law in the near future. President Joe Biden was opposed to the single-payer plan during the 2020 Democratic primary, and instead indicated support for a public option that would offer Americans government-backed health insurance if they pursued it.

Many Americans would like to see a host of different types of medical care covered under a public option. Top economists have said that the program would cost less than the current system, and ultimately help Americans save more — while saving lives.

"Mr. Chairman, this is a debate worth having. I applaud your passion. I don't agree with your idea," Graham said. "But here's what I would suggest to you and others who believe in this idea: Let's vote on it."

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