Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) could not say on Wednesday where he got the information that "thousands will die" if Obamacare is repealed.
Sanders made the claim while speaking with CNN's Jake Tapper but could not provide any specific sources that backed his assertion, instead referring to "studies that have been done."
"You've said if this repeal and replace plan goes forward that thousands of Americans will die," Tapper said to Sanders. "Where do you get that estimate from?"
"I get that estimate from the fact that studies have been done that people who do not have health insurance, who do not go to the doctor when they should, who do not go to the hospital when they need to go, in fact die," Sanders said. "And thousands of people die every year because they don't have health insurance. And if you throw 24 million people off of health insurance, there is no doubt that many thousands of people will die."
Sanders was referring to the House Republicans' proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, which the Congressional Budget Office said on Monday would reduce the number of insured Americans by 24 million in a decade.
Tapper also asked Sanders about insurance companies that are refusing to participate in the Obamacare exchanges in many states because the system is too expensive, leading to less coverage options and higher costs for many Americans. The CNN host asked whether these developments are the fault of Democrats because they passed Obamacare.
"No, I think what the American, look, what you're saying is true," Sanders replied. "No one, certainly not me, that the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, has many serious problems."
"Deductibles are too high, premiums are too high, we still have too many people who don't have any health insurance," Sanders said. "It's too complicated, it's too bureaucratic."
Sanders is an advocate of a single-payer system, under which the government would manage the country's entire health care system.