Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argued Wednesday that Congress seems to have no money when it comes to paying for “Medicare for all” but plenty to support “unlimited war” and tax cuts for billionaires.
In an impassioned interview with Chris Cuomo, the Democratic congressional candidate said people are too heavily focused on “the sticker shock of Medicare for all but we do not talk about the sticker shock of our existing system.”
Health care for everyone in this country “is not a pipe dream. Every other developed nation does this ― why can’t America?” the 28-year-old asked on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time.”
"We only have empty pockets when it comes to the morally right things to do, but when it comes to tax cuts for billionaires and when it comes to unlimited war we seem to be able to invent that money very easily," Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says. https://t.co/cgpyxY7z1g pic.twitter.com/dgVgv8EMRb
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 9, 2018
Ocasio-Cortez went on to criticize lawmakers who poke holes in her platform but completely ignore the cost of the massive tax cuts the Republican Congress passed.
“We write unlimited blank checks for war. We just wrote a $2 trillion check for that GOP tax cut and nobody asked those folks how they are going to pay for it,” she said, before asking a few frank questions.
“Why is it that our pockets are only empty when it comes to education and health care for our kids? Why are our pockets only empty when we talk about 100 percent renewable energy that is going to save this planet and allow our children to thrive?” Ocasio-Cortez asked.
“We only have empty pockets when it comes to the morally right things to do. When it comes to tax cuts for billionaires and when it comes to unlimited war, we seem to be able to invent that money very easily. To me, it belies a lack of moral priorities that people have right now, especially the Republican Party.”
Her statements to Cuomo prompted praise from many people on Twitter:
This is the way you answer a question. Damn.
(Quibble: Slow down!) https://t.co/lXwYq83EyK
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) August 9, 2018
— Phillip Picardi (@pfpicardi) August 9, 2018
Totally stunned @cnn didn’t cut @Ocasio2018’s mic when she pointed out the unlimited amount $ we have for war and tax cuts for the rich. We may never see that kind if truth on cable news again. Kudos to @ChrisCuomo https://t.co/xGnkBNIEwE
— Jordan (@JordanChariton) August 9, 2018
AOC is amazing at messaging. She's calling health care premiums a tax, which is true per SCOTUS. I don't think I've really heard Sanders or Warren or anyone do this. https://t.co/pHjaCyUy6c
— Alex Kotch 🔥 (@alexkotch) August 9, 2018
I am not a fan of hers, but this is a very nice answer. https://t.co/oh7E7HnAX3
— prof. goat (@ProfGoat) August 9, 2018
This young woman is speaking my language. The U.S. has been mislead on healthcare for decades to protect corporate profits. There is no valid reason the U.S. cannot provide universal healthcare. https://t.co/Tbw8rdHpOZ
— Scott Calkins (@ScottCalkins3) August 9, 2018
The member of the Democratic Socialists of America has been making waves since she beat 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional District Democratic primary in June. Ocasio-Cortez is expected to win the heavily Democratic district when she faces Republican Anthony Pappas in November.
Previously, Ocasio-Cortez has cited a lack of moral courage as the reason education and health care haven’t been prioritized by the government. Just last month, she told Trevor Noah: “A lot of what we need to do is reprioritize what we want to accomplish as a nation. Really, what this is about is saying, health care is important enough for us to put first. Education is important enough for us to put first. And that is a decision that requires political and moral courage, from both parts of the aisle. Period.”
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Sally Boynton Brown
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.