Vermont Senator: Health Insurance Firms Should Be 'Afraid' of Government

It’s a question dodged by President Barack Obama in his healthcare town hall on June 24 – would his government-sponsored health care plan drive out private business?


Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., had no qualms about answering the question. The junior Vermont senator, a self-described socialist, addressed the issue on the Fox News Channel’s July 6 “Your World.” Fill-in host Brian Sullivan asked why the health care industry shouldn’t be afraid of being forced out of business with government a participant in the market.


“They should be afraid,” Sanders replied. “Let me tell you, they should be afraid. I think when they deny people health care, because somebody had breast cancer a few years ago, when they throw people off of health insurance, because people who are sick and ran up a health care bill, they have a right to be exposed, a right to be afraid that they will not be able to compete against a strong Medicare-type public plan that treats people with dignity.”


Sanders’ admission was a different take on how the media have approached this discussion. On ABC’s June 24 primetime special, “Prescription for America,” “Good Morning America” co-host Diane Sawyer asked Ron Williams, the CEO of Aetna (NYSE:AET) if the government should be involved in the marketplace “to be kept honest,” without realizing the threat the government could pose to their existence.


Sanders chastised the health care industry for fighting government intrusion in the health care industry.


“As you know, the drug companies and the insurance companies and the healthcare industry are spending over a million dollars a day to make sure we don’t make the kinds of changes in this country we need to provide every man, woman and child with quality comprehensive health care,” Sanders said.


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