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>>> except, of course, when it’s their guy doing it, right? we’ve seen it a million times, who, he ruled that the individual mandate was unconstitutional. that meant the whole thing was void. i think it raises some legitimate constitutional questions, but for the judge to say it invalidates the entire health care law? that’s basically admitting you’re a republican. there’s no question that’s what happened here. judge vinson said, quote, it’s difficult to imagine that a nation that began in that part because of and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in america would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place. you think that’s a coincidence? no that’s a direct reference to the tea party and some advocates thanked him afterwards. gee, i wonder if political considerations came into play in this decision. he’s not alone in his activism. the only other judge to rule against the law, virginia district court judge henry hudson, a dyed in the wool republican both political and financially connected to the party. judge hudson invested in a republican firm that, including virginia attorney general ken couch necessarily i couch cusp necessarilyi. that didn’t change once the courts got involved. where does the games leave us? with anthony kennedy. the case is you wouldly heading to the supreme court, and we basically know four justices will be four it and four against it, so that leaves your decision about your health care not up to your congressman or doctor, but up to one supreme court justice. joining me now is independent senator bernie sanders of vermont. first of all, great pleasure to have you on. i know the republicans have started their assault on health care reform. tell us about that.
>> frankly i don’t think they have the votes, but i think it’s a totally absurd proposal. they talk about our large deficit, yes if they are successful in repealing health care they’ll add a trillion at a time when 50 million americans have no health insurance right now, health care reform would provide health insurance to over 30 million, and what these guys want to do is say no action we can’t do that. at a time when people were denied access to health insurance because the preexisting conditions, they want to allow that object senity to continue to exist. this bill would provide access to community health centers for 20 million more americans. they want to do away with that. look, at the end of the day, let’s be clear. the united states is the only nation in the industrialized world that does not provide health care to all of our people, yet we end up spending almost twice as much as any other country. is this health care reform bill the bill i would have written? no, it is not. one of the changes i want to see is not to repeal the whole bill, but to give states the flexibility to go forward in more effective ways. in my state i would like to see, and i think we have a shot at passing for a single payer program, which in a cost-effective way could provide health care to all our people. those are the changes we need, not the wholesale repeal.
>> senator, i want to talk about messaging. whenever there’s a decision that the republicans don’t like, they scream, they do a press conference, they say my god, judicial activism. why is there not a concerted effort to say the same.
>> i think you’re absolutely right. again, this to my mind, could we have writer a better law, a stronger law, taken on the insurance companies? yes, we can’t have, but this debate took place for an entire year. the whole nation was involved in it. we had hearing after hearing, markup after markup. now it all comes down, perhaps if you’re correct, and you may well be, to one justice in the united states supreme court determining the future of health care in the united states of america, if that is not judicial activism, i don’t know what is.
>> how do you feel about the mandate? i notice some progressives were not in favor of the mandate?
>> it is not the best way to go. the best way to go is say, number one, everybody in america will have health care, and b, we are going to fund a medicare for all single payer program in an effective — in a plowingive way. the problem with the individual mandate is in some case it’s going to be pretty regressivive. government will help many people, but there may be some people stuck with the bill. i think there are more effective ways to pay for health care for all people than the individual mandate. having said that, if somebody walks across the street without any health insurance, gets hit by a truck, spends $100,000 in the hospital, you know who’s paying for the bill? you and i are, and everybody else who has health insurance. is that fair as well? you can make the case for the individual mandate. it’s probably not the best way to fund universal health care for our people.
>> if the courts eventually struck down the rest of the mandate, might you actually be happy about that?
>> there is a debate about where we go from there, but i think the evidence that i have seen is you can deal with that reality, and probably it without the individual mandate. what i am fighting for right now is to maintain the high standards, but give us the flexibility to do it in a more cost-effective way. i happen to bloef when you get rid of the insurance companies, you can say — you can get rid of the bureaucracy, and administrative costs that presently exist, you can provide health care to all people without having to spend more overall dollars.
>> all right. senator bernie sanders from vermont, thank you so much for joining us tonight. we appreciate it.
>> good to be with you,