Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) said he would raise taxes to accommodate his health care plan during a CNN town hall Monday in Des Moines, Iowa.
Sanders, discussing his plan to provide universal healthcare through a Medicare-for-all program, was met with criticism from CNN's Chris Cuomo.
"The criticism is to pay for this, what you're really asking for is one of the biggest tax hikes in history, and that is the criticism," Cuomo said.
Sanders retorted that it was an unfair assessment.
"If you are paying $10,000 a year to a private insurance company, and I say to you, hypothetically, you're going to pay $5,000 more in taxes, or actually less than that, but you're not going to pay any more private health insurance, are you going to be complaining about the fact that I've saved you $5,000 in your total bills?" Sanders asked.
Sanders said he was going to eliminate private health insurance premiums for individuals and for businesses, and he repeated his campaign mantra about how the rest of the civilized world was better in this arena than the United States.
"We can do better than we're doing right now," Sanders said.
"But just to be clear, you are going to raise taxes to do this?" Cuomo asked.
"Yes," Sanders said. "We will raise–we will raise the–we will raise taxes. Yes, we will. But also let us be clear, Chris … But we're also going to eliminate private health insurance premiums for individuals and for businesses."