Since Bernie Sanders joined congress in the early 90’s he has advocated for healthcare reform and has long advocated a single payer system. Sanders played a significant role in crafting Obamacare and now that Republicans have threatened to repeal the bill he is one of the loudest voices standing opposed to their policies.


Bernie Sanders took to the Sunday political show Face the Nation to bash the Republican Party where he repeatedly slammed their plan. Sanders called the plan nothing more than “a tax break for millionaires” and frequently hearkened back to the millions of people who will lose coverage under the plan.


And Sanders criticism are basically the same as everyone else who opposes the bill, ranging from Rand Paul to Breitbart.


The bill does nothing significant to repeal Obamacare, it does nothing significant to change the landscape of the American healthcare system. Higher premiums, higher deductibles, and difficult to afford care will not be addressed by the plan put forward by Republicans in the House of Representatives. For a caucus that championed a change in American healthcare for the better part of a decade, that is a pretty stunning turn of events.


Bernie Sanders also slammed the bill for how rushed the Republicans have been while crafting it. Sanders recalled the 15 month struggle that came with passing the Affordable Care Act, an affair he was intimately involved with.


This is not a criticism held by Bernie Sanders alone and voices from both sides of the aisle have declared the plan nothing but a tax cut funded by ripping healthcare from the most vulnerable. Even conservatives such as those at the National Review have a hard time rationalizing the plan. Which seems like nothing more than jamming poor policy down America’s throats in an attempt to symbolically hold to a campaign promise.


At the same time, not holding to that campaign promise, even if it’s just a tax cut dressed as healthcare reform, could be just as disastrous as passing a plan that takes care from millions of their constituents. Which is the crux of the Republican problem, they’ve flat out lied about healthcare policy for years now.


Republicans have campaigned relentlessly against Obamacare, frequently citing rising premiums and higher cost for care as clear evidence of failed policy. Yet they frequently failed to mention that these trends have been present for decades before Obamacare and are really just part of an unfortunate reality in the modern healthcare debate. A reality any successful health care policy would ideally look to change, but the newest Republican proposal doesn’t even come close.


Bernie Sanders also pushed for a single payer system, which he suggested would solve many of the fundamental problems that have proven incredibly difficult for any reforms to solve. Premiums and healthcare costs are controlled by the collective bargaining a single payer plan gives the American people. A fact well illustrated by medicare which consistently ranks as one of the most efficient economic policies when it comes to dollar in vs. dollar out.


Not to mention the numerous contemporary examples of successful single payer systems from Canada, to Norway, to France. Consistently single payer systems keep costs lower and reduce spending. Even though it might not seem intuitive to Republican lawmakers, consolidating the numerous massive private bureaucracies that are insurance companies and tying them to politicians has proved time and time again a more effective way to provide healthcare for millions of people.


It’s certainly a more tried and true solution than cutting taxes for billionaires, which hasn’t seemed to work no matter how many times Republicans try.