Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has taken aim at Democratic front-runner Joe Biden, accusing the former vice president of “sounding like Donald Trump” on one key issue.
Sanders, in a new interview, was defending his sweeping “Medicare-for-all” plan when he took a swipe at Biden.
“I am disappointed, I have to say, in Joe, who is a friend of mine, really distorting what Medicare for all is about,” Sanders said on Wednesday, according to The New York Times.
“Unfortunately, he is sounding like Donald Trump. He is sounding like the health care industry in that regard.”
“I understand the appeal to ‘Medicare-for-all,” Biden previously said. “But folks supporting it should be clear that it means getting rid of ObamaCare. And I’m not for that. I was very proud the day I stood there with Barack Obama and he signed that legislation.”
Sanders’ criticism highlighted how the progressive push for health care expansion has divided the Democratic field. Sanders’ campaign has specifically called out Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper for their take on policies like “Medicare-for-all.”
Jeff Weaver, a Sanders campaign adviser, suggested on Wednesday that Harris was unrealistic in her reluctance to raise taxes to pay for a “Medicare for all” program under her would-be administration.
“Without unicorns, magic wands, health care is not free. There’s doctors, nurses that have to be paid. There’s hospitals. You have to pay for it,” Weaver told MSNBC.
Weaver’s remarks also came on the same day that the Vermont senator gave a speech defending his health care proposal. That paired well with a speech he gave on democratic socialism in June after another 2020 hopeful, former Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., was booed for opposing the program while speaking at California Democrats’ annual convention.
Weaver’s comments echoed a criticism Sanders’ campaign issued after Hickenlooper held a press conference criticizing democratic socialism. Tweeting an old video of former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Sanders seemed to suggest that Hickenlooper was unrealistic to expect solutions to major issues without accepting high government spending.
Sanders has said he would likely raise both payroll and income taxes to pay for his health care proposal.