RENO — Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, fresh from the third Democratic presidential debate, swung through Carson City and Reno on Friday for a pair of campaign rallies where the presidential hopeful touted his plans for free colleges and “Medicare for All.”
Here are a few highlights:
■ Carson City town hall: Speaking at the Carson City Community Center, Sanders focused the biggest chunk of his 30-minute speech on the details of his proposal for a single-payer health care system, commonly called Medicare for All, saying it would also pay for dental, vision and home health care.
■ Losing veterans benefits: Sanders listened to stories from members of the crowd who shared their experiences of dealing with private insurance
One was 58-year-old Navy veteran John Weigel, who said he has been diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, a degenerative brain disorder, and he was somehow kicked off of Tricare, an insurance provider to active and retired military veterans. Weigel showed Sanders a medical bill totaling $139,000 and said he was planning to kill himself because he couldn’t afford it.
“No, you’re not,” Sanders told Weigel before promising to meet with him one-on-one after the event.
■ Rally at UNR: Speaking to several hundreds students on the campus of University of Nevada, Reno, Sanders gave his more typical stump speech, calling President Donald Trump a “pathological liar” who is “moving our country into an authoritarian society,” and he touched on his campaign platforms for free college tuition, erasing student debt, the need to address climate change and comprehensive immigration reform.
■ Off to Vegas: The Northern Nevada tour marked the first leg of a two-day stint in the Silver State for Sanders. He is slated to hold three separate rallies Saturday in Las Vegas.
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