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Sanders Says This Is How He’ll Pay For Universal Healthcare

Democratic Presidential Candidates Attend Black & Brown Forum In IowaDemocratic Presidential Candidates Attend Black & Brown Forum In Iowa
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in Iowa.Photograph by Joe Raedle — Getty Images

Bernie Sanders said he would consider raising taxes on the middle class to fulfill his promises of universal healthcare.

In an interview with TIME, the Vermont senator was asked which one of his proposals would cost taxpayers more. He answered, “I think if we can guarantee healthcare to all people comprehensive healthcare, no deductibles, and if we can cut people’s healthcare bill substantially.”

Many have calculated the cost of Sander’s healthcare proposal to be more than $15 trillion in 10 years, and last month his policy advisor told TIME that it would be possible to ensure single-payer healthcare without raising taxes on the middle class. However, he’s never answer exactly how his administration would pay for it, until now.

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has previously attacked Sanders for his proposed tax hikes, but he calls that a “distortion of reality.” Though universal healthcare would cost the middle class more in taxes, Sanders aruged that it would be more economical for them in the long run. “If you were paying $10,000 in private healthcare and I said to you, guess what, you ain’t going to pay that $10,000 anymore but you’re going to pay $5,000 more in healthcare premiums, you’d be jumping up and down for joy,” he explained. “You save $5,000 on your healthcare bills.”