Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Democrat candidate forum in Miami on Friday that the estimated 11 to 22 million people in the country illegally would be entitled to the socialized healthcare program Medicare for All he hopes to put in place if he is elected.

“We are going to end that and create a Medicare for All healthcare system, which guarantees health care to every man, woman, and child, and saves the average American substantial sums of money,” Sanders said, admitting next that “national healthcare” systems around the globe “have problems.”

“Now to answer your question, I will not deny that every country on earth that has a national healthcare program — all have problems — that’s the nature of health care in a changing technology,” Sanders said. “But what I want everybody to understand is literally starting yesterday the insurance companies and their drug companies are starting to spend tens and tens of millions of dollars to fight against Medicare for All, and we will organize the American people around the concept that all people in this country have the right to health care.”

“At the end of the day we are going to win that struggle,” Sanders said.

Sanders was then asked if he would include people in the country illegally in Medicare for All.

“Absolutely,” Sanders said. “When I talk about health care being a human right, last time I heard, undocumented people are human beings as well.”

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated that the socialized medicine that Sanders and some of his Democrat rivals for the nomination are endorsing would cost an estimated $28 to $32 trillion over a decade.

Candidates including Beto O’Rourke, John Hickenlooper, Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) also each had a 12-minute slot at the event.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.

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