Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) snapped at NBC's "Meet The Press" host Chuck Todd on Sunday for asking if he regretted saying "thousands of people will die" if the Republican Obamacare overhaul passes, saying he was merely repeating studies on the issue.
Todd read out Sanders' tweet making the accusation about the Senate GOP bill rolled out this week and noted that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah.) called out Sanders for the charged rhetoric.
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Let us be clear and this is not trying to be overly dramatic: Thousands of people will die if the Republican health care bill becomes law.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 23, 2017
The brief time when we were *not* accusing those we disagree with of murder was nice while it lasted. https://t.co/qr1rzon1cg
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) June 23, 2017
"Any regrets at using the rhetoric you used, considering what Senator Hatch said?" Todd asked.
Sanders interrupted before Todd was done.
"No, Chuck! Chuck! Chuck, what the Republican proposal does is throw 23 million Americans off of health insurance," Sanders said. "What Harvard University … and the scientists there determined is when you throw 23 million off of health insurance, people with cancer, people with health care, people with diabetes, thousands of people will die. I wish I didn't have to say it. This is not me. This is study after study making this point."
Sanders' "23 million" statistic is cited from the Congressional Budget Office's scoring of the Republican House bill, although that would be due in part to people simply not purchasing insurance because of the repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate.
Sanders later said that Obamacare had problems with deductibles and co-payments being too high, and he repeated his wish for the U.S. to move toward a single-payer, "Medicare-for-all" program.