WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Bernie Sanders returned to the Senate floor Tuesday with a fiery rebuke for his fellow lawmakers attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Senate Republicans are rallying behind an aggressive plan to essentially gut a large portion of Obamacare. Politico reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell presented a plan to his fellow GOP senators that would gradually halt the expansion of Medicaid over the course of two years. The move would leave room for the next president to enact a new healthcare reform law.
Sanders called the proposed bill a "waste of time" on Tuesday, saying that the repeal package showed "how far removed the Republicans here in Congress are from the realities of American life and the needs of American people."
"When you throw 17 million people off health insurance, people will die because they don't go to a doctor when they should, they don't get into the hospital when they should," Sanders said.
The proposed legislation also contains language that would strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood. The move comes days after a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado that left three dead.
Sanders called for Republicans to end their "witch hunt" against Planned Parenthood.
People magazine reported Sanders returned to Capitol Hill just 12 hours after successful hernia surgery at George Washington University Hospital on Monday.
"He walked into the office this morning in the Dirksen building," said Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Sanders. "He has budget committee meetings."