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Emotional veteran with medical debt confronts Sanders: ‘I’m going to kill myself’

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (WFLA/CNN) – Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders was recently confronted by an emotional man who identified himself as a sick veteran with thousands of dollars in medical debt.

The exchange happened at a town hall event in Carson City, Nevada.

“I can’t. I can’t. I’m gonna kill myself,” the man said when asked how he was going to pay off his debt.

Sen. Sanders responded, “Don’t. Hold it, John. Stop it. You’re not gonna kill yourself. Stop it.”

“I can’t do this,” the veteran told him. “I have Huntington’s Disease. Do you know how hard it is? You probably don’t, do you? I can’t drive. I can barely take care of myself.”

Sen. Sanders then told the man they would talk later at the end of the meeting.

After the town hall, Sanders and his wife spent some time talking to the man. There’s no word on what exactly they talked about.

Sen. Sanders tweeted about the exchange later saying it was painful to hear, adding “this is why we fight for Medicare for all.”

Sanders never served in the military but does have direct experience dealing with Veterans’ Affairs. The senator served as chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee from 2013 to 2015.

The scandal over long waits at VA hospitals took place in 2014, during Sanders’ tenure.

Many people have praised his work with the committee, but others criticize it.

If you or someone you know are struggling with suicidal thoughts and feelings, help is always available. You can speak to someone 24/7 by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also chat with Lifeline online.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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