I don't believe for one minute that CNN's Dana Bash doesn't understand full well that if the United States would move to a Medicare for all, single payer health insurance system, that we would see our health insurance premiums replaced by a tax, but the overall effect would be that we'd see the cost of providing health care go down.
She did her best to play dumb while interviewing Sen. Bernie Sanders this Sunday on CNN's State of the Union and played a little game of gotcha' with the senator over whether he'd "raise taxes on the middle class" or not if we adopted single payer here.
Bash looked more like she was concerned about getting a sound bite for Republicans so they can say Sanders broke a pledge and wants to raise your taxes, rather than helping their viewers understand the real life impact of the policies he's proposing.
Here's a rough transcript of a portion of this shameful excuse for an interview:
BASH: One of your signature proposals is Medicare for all. You said recently you'd only support one new tax on the middle class to fund paid family leave. But how are you going to pay for this massive new health care plan without taxing the middle class, except for that narrow tax?
SANDERS: Well, first of all, you can do it. We have massive income and wealth inequality and in the last thirty years trillions of dollars have flown from the hands of working families to the top one tenth of one percent. You have major corporations in American making billions of dollars a year in profit who in any given year pay nothing in federal income taxes.
So I believe in progressive taxation, asking the large corporations and the wealthiest people in this country to start paying their fair share of taxes. In terms of guaranteeing health care to all Americans through a Medicare for all, single payer program, the truth is, we will save the average middle class family thousands of dollars a year in health care costs, because today, by far, we are the most expensive health care system in the world.↓ Story continues below ↓
We pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. So my proposal will cut health care costs for the middle class by thousands of dollars a year.
BASH: Okay, but Senator, you... your health care proposal, the Wall Street Journal estimates, would cost $15 trillion over ten years. You really can pay for that without raising taxes on the middle class? It just seems hard to believe.
SANDERS: Well what we can do... there are a variety of ways to go forward Dana, but the bottom line, what the Wall Street Journal forgot to tell the American people in that article is people will not have to pay for private health insurance and the cost of prescription drugs are going down.
At the end of the day, we pay, not even close, we pay almost three times more per capita for health care than the British, fifty percent more than the French, much more than the Canadians. Our proposal will save the average middle class family thousands of dollars a year in health care, lower prescription drug costs.
BASH: Okay, but it sounds like you're not ruling out a tax to get there.
If anyone wants to explain the benefits of single payer to Dana Bash, you can drop her a note on Twitter here: @DanaBashCNN