- Associated Press - Monday, August 14, 2017

ST. ALBANS, Vt. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders told a group of seniors that the solution to the country’s health care crisis is to make Medicare available to all, a proposal he plans to introduce shortly after Congress reconvenes in September.

The Vermont independent visited the Franklin County Senior Center in St. Albans on Monday answering questions about health care, social security and President Donald Trump’s budget before heading to an East Fairfield dairy farm to hear from several dairy farmers about the challenges facing the industry, as well their health care concerns.

“Well, we kept the affordable care act alive by the slimmest of margins. Some of us worked very, very hard on that,” said Sanders.

He acknowledged that a “Medicare for all” bill likely won’t pass in the Republican-controlled Congress and with Trump as president. But he said change takes time, and would involve organizing effectively in every state to make it happen.

“If we pass this thing, it’s not going to be tomorrow, it would be the most significant step forward legislatively since I suspect the creation of Social Security in the 1930s. It’s a big deal,” he said.

After meeting with seniors, he told reporters that a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday in which a counter-protester was killed, was “a very, very sad moment in American history.”

The former presidential hopeful said Trump bore some responsibility for giving rise to hate groups by not previously condemning them.

Facing increased pressure, Trump on Monday named and condemned hate groups as “repugnant,” and declared “racism is evil” after his previous remarks about violence on “many sides” prompted criticism. Trump called members of the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who take part in violence “criminals and thugs” in a prepared statement.

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