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.
Even so, Ocasio-Cortez has high spirits for the future of the progressive movement.
“I feel really good about it,” she told Chris Cuomo. “What we do know is that we are winning hearts, minds and an American consensus.”