WASHINGTON — Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren hosted a Facebook Live Q&A on Monday to take questions on what the GOP’s new health care bill might mean for the average American family.
The left-leaning lawmakers noted that the Senate has not yet held a single public hearing on the American Health Care Act set for a vote before July 4, which Sanders called an “embarrassing, disastrous process and an embarrassing, disastrous bill.”
Sanders noted what he considers the potentially disastrous consequences of the House’s version of the bill, which passed by a slim margin last month. The Vermont independent said 23 million Americans would lose coverage under the House plan, a figure the Congressional Budget Office cited last month, and Medicaid would be cut by more than $800 billion.
“Let’s put a face on who actually takes these Medicaid dollars,” Warren said. “It’s people in nursing homes.”
Viewers commented on the live feed to ask questions about how to participate in the revision process, and whether the Senate is likely to pass a similar version of the bill. As many as 14,400 people tuned in to watch, according to the video’s stats.
“We have to be part of the political process like we’ve never been before,” Sanders said. “You have got to act in an unprecedented way. Get involved in any way you can.”
Warren, D-Massachusetts, expressed skepticism about the prospects of the House bill, suggesting that many more changes must be made and adding that the legislative process should be public. She encouraged viewers to share their own health care stories and reach out to family, friends and lawmakers across the aisle.
“Having diabetes, having cancer — it’s not something that picks parties,” Warren said.
Sanders echoed that point: “There are very few people in America that believe you should have to choose between your insulin, your food or your rent,” he said.
The discussion occurred just hours before their colleagues in the Senate planned to take control of the floor for a talk-a-thon against the passage of Republican legislation.