Ocasio-Cortez: State of US health care is ‘barbarism’ 

May 12, 2024

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) described the state of health care in America as “barbarism,” in a forthcoming episode of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) podcast.

In a preview of Wednesday’s episode of “Bernie: The Podcast,” Ocasio-Cortez lamented the high costs of health care and housing and the difficult choices many Americans must face, as she recommitted to fighting for progressive change.

“The fact that people are choosing between medicine and rent is barbarism,” Ocasio-Cortez said in the preview released Sunday. “The fact that people are worried about whether they will be on the street every four weeks, is barbarism. The fact that every time a person has an ache or a pain in their body, and they’re scared that it could either be just a sore joint or cancer, but they can’t find out because they can’t afford the doctor.”

“This is barbarism. And if we do not demand, and not only demand but win unions healthcare, wages, ending endless war, then we will condemn ourselves to barbarism and I refuse to give up,” she continued. “I refuse to submit myself to that future. That’s not a life. And so, to live, we have to fight for each other.”

The two public figures have become mainstays in progressive politics and played a key role in the beginning of the Biden administration in passing the progressive policies in the Inflation Reduction Act, including capping insulin at $35 for those covered by Medicare and letting Medicare negotiate directly with drug companies. Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders are both supporters of “Medicare for All” legislation.

Sanders launched the podcast nearly two months ago, in conjunction with his book, “It’s Ok to Be Angry about Capitalism.”