Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) said Friday his vision of Medicare for All would "absolutely" cover the illegal immigrants living in the United States.
Speaking at a presidential candidate forum in Miami, Sanders touted his plan for a universal health care system he claims would provide coverage for every "man, woman, and child" while saving the "average American substantial sums of money."
"The insurance companies and their drug companies are starting to spend tens and tens of millions of dollars to fight against Medicare for All," Sanders said. "And we will organize the American people around the concept that all people in this country have the right to health care, and at the end of the day, we are going to win that struggle."
"Senator, would you include the 11 million undocumented immigrants in that?" a moderator asked.
"Absolutely," Sanders said. "Absolutely. When I talk about health care being a human right, last time I heard that undocumented people are human beings as well."
Sanders has admitted that his platform will require hiking taxes, but he claims that most people would see savings overall by not having to pay health insurance premiums. One study estimates his plan would cost the U.S. $32.6 trillion over the next 10 years. Several other leading 2020 Democrats have embraced versions of Medicare for All.
Regarding illegal immigration, Sanders has said the migrant crisis at the southern border is a "serious problem" but condemned the Trump administration's handling of the situation.
"It is a serious problem, but it is not the kind of crisis that requires demonization of desperate people who in some cases have walked a thousand miles with their children," Sanders said in a CNN interview on June 9. "It is an issue we have to deal with. But the issue of climate change, the issue of tens of millions of Americans not having health insurance, the fact that half of our people are living paycheck to paycheck, those are more serious crises."