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Ocasio-Cortez: Why Are Our Pockets Empty for Health Care and Education?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (YouTube screen grab)

In an interview with CNN‘s Chris Cuomo Wednesday evening, New York congressional candidate and democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned how Congress can “write unlimited blank checks for war” and pass the GOP’s $2 trillion tax cut for the wealthy, but when it comes to proposals that would help every American—such as Medicare for All—”our pockets are empty.”

“Why is it that our pockets are only empty when it comes to education and healthcare for our kids?” she posed. “Why are pockets only empty when we talk about 100 percent renewable energy that is going to save this planet and allow our children to thrive?”

“We only have empty pockets when it comes to the morally right things to do,” she continued, “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.”

The 28-year-old, who is expected to win New York’s deep blue 14th District in November, has championed a boldly progressive platform, demanding Medicare for All, a federal jobs guarantee, a Green New Deal, and tuition-free public college.

Predictably asked by Cuomo about the “sticker shock” of implementing a system that would guarantee healthcare for all Americans, Ocasio-Cortez said, “People talk about the sticker shock of Medicare for All—they do not talk about the sticker shock of the cost of our existing system.”

She pointed to a recent Koch Brothers-funded study that spectacularly backfired for the right-wing oil barons by demonstrating that such a system would not only cover everyone but also save $2 trillion over a decade.

“At the end of the day, we see that this is not a pipe dream. Every other developed nation in the world does this. Why can’t America?” she said. “That is the question we need to ask.”

Jessica Corbett / Common Dreams

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