Former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) claimed Monday that "thousands of Americans will die" if Republicans in Congress vote to replace the Affordable Care Act, a claim for which the lawmaker, who supports a "single-payer" health care system, offered no evidence.
The self-avowed Democratic socialist was responding to the Congressional Budget Office's cost and coverage estimate of the House Republicans' bill, the American Health Care Act, to replace Obamacare.
The highly anticipated CBO report, released Monday afternoon, estimates that 24 million fewer Americans would have health insurance by 2026 if Obamacare is repealed and the Republicans' bill becomes law. The report notes that 14 million fewer Americans would be insured after the first year.
Democrats and progressives are using the CBO report to attack the GOP bill, but Sanders took the political talking points a step further, making one particular eyebrow-raising claim:
I have no hesitation to say this: if this legislation is passed, and millions of people are thrown off their health insurance, not able to get to a doctor when they must, thousands of Americans will die. That's what this legislation is about. It must be defeated and I hope there is enough sense among some of the Republicans to go against it.
Sanders speaks to reporters on Republican AHCA replacement plan: if this legislation is passed, "thousands of Americans will die." pic.twitter.com/EKySpB0Bdi
— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) March 13, 2017
Many conservative Republicans have announced their opposition to the House GOP's plan, but not for the reasons Sanders suggested. Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus have referred to the American Health Care Act as "Obamacare Lite," further suggesting it would do little, if anything, to effectively address the cost of health insurance.
(H/T: Daily Caller)