Live updates: Michael Bennet CNN town hall

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Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet connected his recent diagnosis and surgery for prostate cancer to his calls for “universal health care” during a CNN town hall Thursday night.

“I feel awfully lucky that I had health insurance. It did cost $92,000, and if my family hadn’t been insured, it would have been a disaster for us — and it would have been a real disaster for most American families,” the Democratic 2020 presidential contender said.

“I think about not only that, but what it would mean if you were an American citizen and you didn’t have a primary care doctor who could give you a screening that let you know I had cancer,” he said, adding that he had no symptoms.

Bennet said he supports a “public option” that would allow people to buy into Medicare. But he sharply criticized Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” proposal that would eliminate the role of private insurers.

Bennet said his plan is “Medicare for All — if you want it. But if you want to keep the insurance you have, then you could do that as well.”

“Now, Bernie is proposing, if you like your insurance, we’re going to take it away from you,” he said. Bennet said Sanders is “wrong to propose it. I think what we should do is give American people a choice.”

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