Sanders defends Medicare for All in Democratic debate

HOUSTON (WCAX) The candidates talked health care in Thursday night's Democratic presidential debate.

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren defended the concept and the cost of Medicare for All.

Former Vice President Joe Biden touted his health care plan-- improvements to the Affordable Care Act and a public option with a price tag in the hundreds of billions. He compared that with Sanders' plan, which would cost more than the entire federal budget does now and eliminate most private insurance.

Sanders insisted his plan works out better in the long run.

"Joe said that Medicare for All would cost over $30 trillion. That's right, Joe. Status quo over 10 years will be $50 trillion. Every study done shows that Medicare for All is the most cost-effective option providing health care to every man, woman, and child in this country."

Sens. Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar made their case as more moderate candidates, stressing the need for Americans to come together.

Beto O'Rourke was roundly praised for his work in the aftermath of the El Paso shooting.

Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro got in some shots at Biden. Castro said Biden is selectively taking credit for parts of the Obama presidency.

He also aggressively questioned the vice president's memory, which Gray TV Political Analyst Greta Van Susteren says won't help him with voters.

"The problem on top of that besides the fact that it was insulting to Vice President Biden, Castro's wrong. It wasn't Biden who made the mistake but everybody groaned in the room which suggested that Castro made himself very unpopular with a lot of Democrats. So if anyone gets hurt last night, it would be Castro," Van Susteren said.

For more of Van Susteren's analysis, you can watch "Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren" here on Channel 3 Sunday nights after the 11 p.m. news.