Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday blasted "for-profit" health insurance companies for abandoning the American people in order to save a buck, in the wake of Aetna's announcement that it would slash its Obamacare participation by more than two thirds.
"It is disappointing that Aetna has joined other large for-profit health insurance companies in pulling out of the insurance marketplace," Sanders said in a statement Tuesday. "Despite the Affordable Care Act bringing them millions more paying customers than ever before, these companies are more concerned with making huge profits than ensuring access to health care for all Americans."
The Vermont independent, who recently ended his campaign to become the Democratic nominee, used the latest Obamacare pullout to showcase why healthcare should be run by the government, a goal he has long sought as a member of Congress, and advocated the need for a "Medicare-for-all single-payer system."
"In my view, the provision of health care cannot continue to be dependent upon the whims and market projections of large private insurance companies whose only goal is to make as much profit as possible," Sanders said. "That is why we need to join every other major country on earth and guarantee health care to all as a right, not a privilege. That is also why we need to pass a Medicare-for-all single-payer system."
Sanders said he would reintroduce legislation to make his proposal a reality, "hopefully as part of the Democratic Senate majority."
Aetna announced Monday that after being hit with a $200 million loss in the second quarter of 2016, it was withdrawing from Affordable Care Act health exchanges in 11 of 15 states where it operates, and nearly 70 percent of the counties where it was selling Obamacare plans.