MSNBC's Velshi: 'I'm a Huge Proponent' of Single Payer Health Care

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Over the weekend, MSNBC host Ali Velshi -- who has also served as a business correspondent for NBC -- was very upfront about some of his liberal views on economic issues as he not only declared himself to be a "huge proponent" of a Canadian-style single-payer health care system, but he also voiced agreement with liberal activist Reverend William Barber's push for more government intervention to fight poverty.

The MSNBC host even went along with the Reverend Barber's claims of "racist voter suppression" by Republicans.

On Sunday morning's Velshi show, the MSNBC host brought aboard the Reverend Barber and early on highlighted his guest's liberal agenda on poverty:

VELSHI: The thing I want to draw my viewers' attention to with you is you have been trying and working toward and engaging in conversations with the presidential candidates about poverty in this country. It is the scourge -- it is the intractable problem in the world's richest country that we have half a million people on the streets every night, We've got 40 million people who are food insecure, and we have remarkable wealth inequality between African Americans and people of color and white families. You try to make this a priority for presidential candidates. How are you doing so far?

A bit later, the Reverend Barber complained about "racist voter suppression," leading to agreement from host Velshi:

REVEREND WILLIAM BARBER: When you look at voter suppression, every state that is a racist voter suppression state is also a high-poverty state. The ugly irony is the people that use racist voter suppression and gerrymander, once they get elected using race, they then pass policies that mostly hurt poor white people.

VELSHI: Correct.

BARBER: We have to have that conversation in this country and show people that the fight for voter suppression is not just a fight for black people -- it is a fight for the heart of this democracy. ...

A bit later, Velshi reiterated the point:

VELSHI: You make an important point. There are more white people living in poverty or low wealth in this country than brown people living in poverty.

BARBER: Sixty-six million

VELSHI: This should not be a racial issue. This should be everybody being lifted. Reverend, let's continue this conversation quite often because it is the thing that we have to solve.

On Saturday night, at 11:47 p.m. Eastern, as he anchored special coverage of the South Carolina Democratic Primary, Velshi got to interview Bernie Sanders surrogate and far-left Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna, during which the Canadian-born Velshi declared his support for a health care system similar to the Sanders Medicare for All plan:

VELSHI: Bernie Sanders and I have talked about Medicare for All many times. I'm Canadian, and so I'm familiar with the concept of single-payer health care, and I'm a huge proponent of the idea. The struggle, of course, is how it gets done. And it's where you are in Congress which is where the rubber hits the road. So there are a lot of people who like the idea -- they're not convinced -- forget the money part of it because we can have that argument later -- how such a thing actually cones to be.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Sunday, March 1, Velshi show on MSNBC:

9:53 a.m. Eastern

ALI VELSHI: The thing I want to draw my viewers' attention to with you is you have been trying and working toward and engaging in conversations with the presidential candidates about poverty in this country. It is the scourge -- it is the intractable problem in the world's richest country that we have half a million people on the streets every night, We've got 40 million people who are food insecure, and we have remarkable wealth inequality between African Americans and people of color and white families. You try to make this a priority for presidential candidates. How are you doing so far?

(…)

REVEREND WILLIAM BARBER: When you look at voter suppression, every state that is a racist voter suppression state is also a high-poverty state. The ugly irony is the people that use racist voter suppression and gerrymander, once they get elected using race, they then pass policies that mostly hurt poor white people.

VELSHI: Correct.

BARBER: We have to have that conversation in this country and show people that the fight for voter suppression is not just a fight for black people -- it is a fight for the heart of this democracy. ...

VELSHI: You make an important point. There are more white people living in poverty or low wealth in this country than brown people living in poverty.

BARBER: Sixty-six million

VELSHI: This should not be a racial issue. This should be everybody being lifted. Reverend, let's continue this conversation quite often because it is the thing that we have to solve.

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