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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during a campaign rally at Civic Center Park on September 9, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo: Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

'On Message as Always': Sanders Works His Heart Procedure Into Case for Medicare for All as #GetWellBernie Trends

"None of us know when a medical emergency might affect us. And no one should fear going bankrupt if it occurs. Medicare for All!"

Jake Johnson

As the outpouring of well-wishes from presidential candidates, progressive activists, celebrities, lawmakers, and thousands of ordinary Americans continued Thursday morning, Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted a note of gratitude for the support following his successful heart procedure and—always on message—immediately worked the treatment into his case for Medicare for All.

"I'm feeling good. I'm fortunate to have good healthcare and great doctors and nurses helping me to recover," said Sanders, who had two stents inserted Tuesday night to treat an artery blockage. "None of us know when a medical emergency might affect us. And no one should fear going bankrupt if it occurs. Medicare for All!"

The tweet was Sanders's first public comment since his procedure, which came after the Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate experienced discomfort on the campaign trail in Nevada. CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta estimated Sanders's recovery period following the treatment will likely be around a week.

"When the going gets tough, Bernie Sanders fights greedy insurance CEOs and pushes Medicare for All."
—David Sirota, Sanders speechwriter

In the meantime, while Sanders canceled events and appearances "until further notice," his presidential campaign sent a newsletter just hours after the procedure underscoring how "stents are a perfect example of why the United States needs to join the rest of the world and pass Bernie's Medicare for All legislation."

"Bernie is conversing and in great spirits as he rests up from what medical experts note is a routine procedure (roughly 1.8 million stent procedures happen in the United States every year)," wrote Sanders speechwriter David Sirota in the campaign's "Bern Notice" newsletter.

Sirota pointed to a 2018 study published in Health Affairs showing that stents "cost up to six times more in the United States than in other industrialized countries with government-sponsored healthcare systems."

"Why the price differential? In part, because America's dysfunctional healthcare system involves a complex web of payers—rather than a single-payer Medicare for All system that can negotiate better prices," Sirota noted. "So as you see the headlines about Bernie today, send him your good vibes—and remember how important the fight for Medicare for All really is."

The newsletter came as the hashtag #GetWellBernie trended on Twitter, with prominent figures like NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, British Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, comedian Sarah Silverman, and thousands of others wished Sanders a speedy recovery.

"I am neither Democrat nor Republican, but Sanders is in my opinion the most fundamentally decent man in politics," said Snowden. "His life-long struggle for a more equitable society is a reminder of how far we have come—and a challenge to complete the journey."

"This whole campaign was Bernie with a BLOCKED ARTERY??" tweeted Silverman. "Can you imagine the force he's gonna be now with it's UNblocked?! GO BERNIE GO!"

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