POLITICS
02/08/2017 12:27 am ET

Sanders To Cruz: Health Care Access 'Doesn't Mean A Damn Thing' If You Can't Afford It

“You want to buy one of Donald Trump’s mansions? You have access to do that as well."

WASHINGTON — On the issue of health care, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) agree on very little.

At a town hall debate Tuesday night hosted by CNN, the two former presidential candidates clashed on the future of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, which President Donald Trump and Republican members of Congress have vowed to repeal.

One of the more spirited exchanges came after Sanders asked Cruz if he believes, as Sanders does, that every American is entitled to health care as a right.

“What is a right is access to health care,” Cruz said. “What is a right is choosing your own doctor.” Another right people have is “for government not to mess with you,” he said. 

Sanders snapped back, saying that without enough money to afford such care, access to it is meaningless. 

“You want to buy one of Donald Trump’s mansions? You have access to do that as well,” he said. “Oh, you can’t afford $5 million for a house? Sorry. Access doesn’t mean a damn thing! What it means is whether people can afford it, can get the health care that they need.”

Watch a clip of the exchange below.

In his opening remarks, Sanders acknowledged the Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect, but said repealing it would have devastating consequences to millions of Americans. Cruz, who has repeatedly called for a full repeal, said that unlike Sanders and Democrats, who “want government to control health care,” he trusts people and their doctors to make their own choices.

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