White House press secretary Sarah Sanders rejected a healthcare bill introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. on Wednesday, saying the former Democratic presidential candidate would have made it to the White House if Americans had an appetite for socialized medicine.
"Not only does the president not support it but America doesn't support it, or Bernie Sanders would be sitting in the Oval Office right now," Sanders told reporters Wednesday.
The Vermont senator's government-run healthcare bill, dubbed "Medicare for all," would establish "a single-payer national health care program," according to Sanders' website, and currently has the backing of a dozen Senate Democrats. The legislation would expand Medicare, the federally funded healthcare program for people age 65 and older, to cover the estimated 28 million Americans who currently do not have health insurance.
In a January interview with the Washington Post, Trump said his administration would fight for legislation that guaranteed health "insurance for everybody," even if certain people cannot afford it.
But Trump's press secretary rejected that line of thinking on Wednesday, telling reporters she couldn't "think of anything worse than having government more involved in healthcare," similar to what the Vermont senator has proposed.
"[Bernie Sanders] pushed these ideas forward during the campaign," the president's top spokeswoman said. "They were rejected, not just by Americans, but by Democrats. He didn't make it into the primary. He didn't make it into the Oval."
"I think that's a pretty clear indication of what America wants to see and it's not a single-payer system," she added.