Senator Bernie Sanders said in an interview on Sunday that things like dental care, hearing aids, and eye glasses counted as “human infrastructure,” and insisted they be part of President Joe Biden’s massive multi-trillion dollar infrastructure deal.
Sanders made his comments on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper.
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Host Jake Tapper questioned the self-described socialist senator as to how expansive the definition of infrastructure should be.
“So you think that things that one could argue are important but not necessarily a part of an infrastructure package such as dealing with college debt?”
“You think that that should be a part of the bill?” Tapper added.
Sanders replied, “Well, you know, it depends on what you call infrastructure. Roads and bridges and tunnels are infrastructure. I think many of us see a crisis in human infrastructure.”
“When working-class families can’t find good quality affordable child care, that’s human infrastructure,” Sanders insisted.
Sen. Sanders then elaborated.
“One of the areas that I am working on right now is the need to expand Medicare in order to provide dental care and hearing aids and eye glasses for millions and millions of seniors who need these services but can’t afford it,” he said.
“Is that infrastructure?” Sanders pondered. “I think it is.”
Sanders said the U.S. was behind in providing “human infrastructure” for “working families.”
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Sanders said, “Look, Jake, the truth is, in so many ways, we are behind many other countries throughout the world in providing for working families and the elderly and the children.”
“And I think now is the time to begin addressing our physical infrastructure and our human infrastructure” Sanders finished. “I want to see that happen as soon as possible.”
The Biden administration is at least partially in agreement with Bernie’s line of thinking.
Reportedly, around $400 billion of Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan will go to “caregiving” initiatives for the elderly and disabled.
USA Today describes the $400 billion as expanding a Medicaid program for home healthcare services and a pay increase for care workers.
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