Morning Joe Panel Scoffs at Murphy’s Claim That Sanders Won’t Discuss Single-Payer at Health Care Debate

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Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.) flustered the panel of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday when he claimed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) won't discuss his single-payer health care plan at an upcoming CNN debate.

CNN is hosting a town hall-style debate on health care Monday featuring Sanders and Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) against Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (La.). The latter two are sponsoring a bill to repeal Obamacare that they are hoping to pass before the end of September.

Sanders' presence in the debate has riled some Democrats who fear that it will allow Graham and Cassidy to juxtapose their bill against Sanders' vision of socialized medicine, or "Medicare for all."

MSNBC co-host Willie Geist noted the criticisms of the Graham-Cassidy bill and asked Murphy if the debate was a "good idea."

"I actually don't think that Bernie Sanders is going to be talking about single-payer health care on Monday night," Murphy said.

"You don't?" Geist asked.

"No, I think he's going to be talking about why Graham-Cassidy is such an immediate threat to the country," Murphy said.

"Oh boy," host Mika Brzezinski said.

"Has Bernie told you that, Chris?" host Joe Scarborough asked.

The camera panned out to show Brzezinski and Scarborough looking incredulous.

"I've actually heard that from Bernie's folks, that their focus is going to be on Graham-Cassidy, and I think he understands that what we need to do next week is make the American public understand the humanitarian disaster that comes with 32 million people losing insurance, rates going up by 20 percent," Murphy said.

He said he recognized Republicans want to make Sanders' single-payer announcement this month the "excuse" for moving their bill forward.

"But senator, isn't Senator Sanders then giving them the opportunity to do that?" Geist asked, pointing out Sanders will surely take questions Monday about his proposed legislation.

Murphy said Sanders would be an effective critic against the current GOP legislation.

BBC anchor Katty Kay appeared to give Murphy and the Democrats advice for their strategy going forward, urging them to "sit back … this bill is starting to tank by itself."

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