Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned why Republicans are happy to pay for tax cuts and “unlimited war” but the GOP, and some Democrats, don’t see “Medicare-for-all” or other progressive ideas as financially feasible.
“People talk about the sticker shock of Medicare-for-all, but not of our existing system,” Ocasio-Cortez said during an interview on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time.”
“This is not a pipe dream. Every other nation does this — why can’t America?” she added.
Later on the show, Ocasio-Cortez said there’s a certain amount of hypocrisy coming from lawmakers who criticize her platform while ignoring a “$2 trillion check for a GOP tax cut.”
“When it comes to tax cuts for bills and unlimited war,” she said, “we seem to invent that money very easily.”
Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th District Democratic primary in June, acknowledged the $32.6 trillion cost of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-all act, which comes from an estimate by the Koch brothers-associated Mercatus Center.
She thinks those costs are not nearly as bad as those from the current system.
“Americans have the sticker shock of health care as it is,” Ocasio-Cortez said, pointing to costs often unaccounted for, such as deaths and reduced productivity due to lack of health care.
Ocasio-Cortez is a member of Democratic Socialists of America. As of last Thursday, the organization said it has 48,000 members.
With Crowley having outraised her by 10-to-1, the 28-year-old’s victory came as a surprise. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told CNN in June to not “get yourself carried away” with Ocasio-Cortez’s upset win.