Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) hosted an online town hall meeting on his proposal for Medicare for All on Tuesday night. (Photo: @PrincepsTonza/Twitter)

Bypassing Major Networks, 1.6 Million Tune In for Sanders 'Medicare for All' Town Hall

Senator held online event to counter corporate media's coverage of healthcare, frequently "interrupted by commercials by the drug companies"

Julia Conley

Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) town hall on Medicare for All drew more than one million online viewers in addition to the hundreds of attendees who packed an auditorium at the U.S. Capitol to capacity.

Speaking with multiple panels featuring single-payer healthcare advocates and experts—including Dr. Don Berwick, who oversaw Medicare and Medicaid under President Barack Obama—Sanders moderated a nearly two-hour discussion about the failures of the current U.S. healthcare system and how its costs and outcomes compare to those in countries with universal healthcare.

When Sanders asked Berwick whether there is any legitimate economic reason not to expand Medicare to all Americans, he replied, "No, there's no reason. It's just will."

"You can stand up for people," Berwick added. "Why wouldn’t we do that for all Americans, not just people over 65?"

The discussion also covered the economic impact of Medicare for All. While Republicans have spent years pushing the narrative about high tax rates as a result of government-funded healthcare, owners of businesses large and small explained to the national audience the increasingly heavy financial burden that the for-profit system is putting on both their companies and their employees.

In his closing remarks, Sanders noted that a town hall broadcast exclusively online was necessary to provide viewers with the facts on Medicare for All. Although 53 percent of Americans now support government-funded healthcare for all, he said, corporate media outlets hardly cover the issue.

"The reason we're doing this program tonight is you don't see this stuff," he said. "It ain't gonna be on CBS. It ain't gonna be on NBC. What astounds me is we already have a pretty good majority of the American people who already believe in universal health care, believe that it is the government's responsibility to make sure that health care is a right. And we have reached that stage with media not talking about the issue at all."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

World Leaders Must Commit to End Covid-19 Patents: Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus

Decrying the "brutally unequal global rollout of Covid-19 vaccines," Yunus wrote that "there is still time for world leaders to say never again."

Andrea Germanos ·


Addressing Crisis 'Existentially Imperiling' Its People, Vanuatu Declares Climate Emergency

"We are in danger now, not just in the future," said Prime Minister Bob Loughman.

Andrea Germanos ·


'Grotesque': Disgust as Trump Reads Names of Uvalde Victims at NRA Convention

Former President Donald Trump and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas were among those pushing a "good guys with guns" theory that "utterly failed" the latest victims of a mass shooting.

Andrea Germanos ·


Wall Street-Funded Democrat PAC to Spend $1 Million in Bid to Unseat Tlaib: Report

"Imagine spending $1 million to oust Rashida Tlaib instead of organizing in Detroit to make sure Michigan goes blue," quipped one progressive group.

Brett Wilkins ·


Parents Demand Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty 'For the Sake of the Children'

"We cannot remain silent as the fossil fuel industry and world leaders rob our children of a livable future," parents from 32 nations wrote in an open letter.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo