Senator Bernie Sanders Talks Healthcare, Energy Efficiency at CCI Convention

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  On Saturday, Senator Bernie Sanders made his first visit to Iowa since the 2016 election. This time it wasn’t to campaign, but rather to address concern over President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to healthcare.

"If that Republican bill gets passed, how are they going to get insurance that they can afford?" Sanders asked, addressing the issue in a room full of 1,000 Iowans.

"Healthcare is my issue. I am a person with a mental illness, I’ve got a daughter on SSI and I work in behavioral health. Everyone I work with is on Medicaid Expansion, everyone I work will lose their insurance if this goes through,” said Manchester resident Robin Stone.

While healthcare was a hot topic for attendees, so was reducing the 15 trillion pounds of carbon emissions the EPA says the U.S. omitted last year.

"It’s awesome to be part of an event full of these hardworking and progressive people in the state of Iowa. It means a lot, especially to see Bernie out here, it’s fantastic," said Cedar Falls resident Benjamin Hanisch.

Whether because of his views on Medicaid or energy efficiency, Sanders left people feeling hopeful.

"When the cards fall and everybody actually treats each other with respect, we realize we are all Americans and we are all citizens, and it's awesome to be reminded of that," Hanisch said.

CCI raised more than $30,000 from this event, and organizers said all the money will be put towards more community-driven events.