Democrat Warren: Medicare for All Would Not Raise U.S. Middle-Class Taxes ‘One Penny’

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on Friday proposed a $20.5 trillion Medicare for All plan that she said would not require raising middle-class taxes “one penny,” answering critics who had attacked her for failing to explain how she would pay for the sweeping healthcare system overhaul.

Warren said her plan would save American households $11 trillion in out-of-pocket healthcare spending over the next decade while imposing significant new taxes on corporations and the wealthy to help finance it.

“Healthcare is a human right, and we need a system that reflects our values,” Warren wrote in a 20-page essay outlining her plan. “That system is Medicare for All.”

The proposal to remake the U.S. healthcare system will face scrutiny from Warren’s more moderate Democratic opponents, who have questioned Medicare for All’s practicality.

Warren’s proposal also calls for cuts in defense spending and passing immigration reform to increase tax revenue from newly legal Americans, two steps that would face an uphill battle in Congress. The $20.5 trillion in new spending over 10 years would increase the entire federal budget by a third.

Warren, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, is one of 17 Democrats vying for the party’s nomination to take on Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election. She is near the front of the pack in opinion polls, having closed in on former Vice President Joe Biden, the early front-runner.

Medicare for All would replace private health insurance, including employer-sponsored plans, with full government-sponsored coverage, and individuals would no longer have to pay premiums, deductibles, co-pays or other out-of-pocket costs.

It would extend Medicare, the U.S. government’s health insurance program for people 65 years and older and the disabled, to cover all Americans, including the roughly 27.5 million – 8.5% of the population – who are currently uninsured.

Warren, a former law professor, has become known for a bevy of detailed policy proposals. But she had faced criticism for not detailing how she would pay for a Medicare for All plan she backs, which was introduced in the Senate by rival Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

At recent debates, Warren had refused to answer directly when asked whether she would be forced to raise middle-class taxes to cover the costs, even as Sanders acknowledged he would.

More moderate 2020 candidates such as Biden and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg have said Medicare for All would be too disruptive and favor a more incremental approach.

‘MATHEMATICAL GYMNASTICS’

On Friday, Biden’s campaign questioned Warren’s calculations, calling them “double talk” and “mathematical gymnastics” and asserting that middle-class taxes would rise despite her vow.

“It’s impossible to pay for Medicare for All without middle-class tax increases,” said Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager. “To accomplish this sleight of hand, her proposal dramatically understates its cost, overstates its savings, inflates the revenue, and pretends that an employer payroll tax increase is something else.”

Warren, speaking to reporters in Iowa on Friday, said she was “just not sure where he (Biden) is going,” adding that her proposal and its costs were authenticated by outside experts.

“Democrats are not going to win by repeating Republican talking points and by dusting off the points of view of the giant drug companies and the giant insurance companies,” Warren said.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi also questioned the feasibility of enacting Medicare for All, saying in an interview with Bloomberg on Friday that Democrats should focus on expanding the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

Critics like Warren note that the current U.S. healthcare system – a patchwork of private insurance often provided by employers or obtained through Obamacare marketplaces and public programs covering the poor, elderly and disabled – is the most costly in the world despite leaving tens of millions uncovered.

Medicare for All legislation stands little chance of passing Congress, where Democrats control the House and Republicans control the Senate.

The plan relies on aggressive ways of lowering healthcare costs, including major cuts in prescription drug prices and significant reductions in administrative costs by eliminating private insurers.

“She makes some assumptions about how effectively healthcare costs could be contained that may not pan out,” said Larry Levitt, a health policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Employers would be asked to repurpose the money they currently spend on workers’ healthcare into Medicare contributions, while billionaires, high-earning investors and corporations would face trillions of dollars in higher taxes.

In an effort to appease union leaders, some of whom have expressed skepticism about giving up hard-fought healthcare plans, Warren said employers that already offer benefits under a collective bargaining agreement could reduce their contributions if they pass the savings along to workers.

Warren released two letters supporting her calculations from several experts, including Simon Johnson, the former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund; Donald Berwick, who oversaw Medicare in the Obama administration; and Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

An online calculator launched by Warren’s campaign showed an average family of four with employer-provided insurance would save $12,378 per year.

Warren said with her Medicare for All plan in place, projected total healthcare costs in the United States over 10 years would be just under $52 trillion – slightly less than maintaining the current system.

(Reporting by Amanda Becker and Joseph Ax; Additional reporting by John Whitesides in Iowa; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Will Dunham and Jonathan Oatis)

Published in News

Responses

  1. President Trump has gone to a lot of trouble getting big corporation to come back to the US. Warren needs to shut her mouth or they will be packing their bags to leave again.
    How dumb does she think we are? Maybe the additional money won’t be in the form of taxes but it will be leaving because of higher costs everywhere else. Everything the middle class pays for would go up.
    Did you notice? She didn’t say, “You can keep your doctor.”
    Here’s my plan: Everyone who votes for her has to pay for and go on her plan and the rest of us don’t.

  2. “Like I or other taxpayers could give a shit about them when we have our own interests THAT WE PAY FOR.” I Ching

    Plus more sad commentary that exposes you for what you are. It is people like you who say “I’ve got mine, everybody else can just screw themselves” that has partly created the divided nation that we have today.

    Humans created civilization to so that we all could help each other as a society. Other animals do the same thing. You should join civilization, some day.

  3. hey liz how about this. if you do get this to pass and the rich don’t pay for it and the middle class taxes go up you will leave the country for good, so let me say good bye now

  4. Lyin’ Lizzie is actually telling the truth, or at least her version. IF she taxes only corporations and the wealthy (will she include Bernie and herself among them?) then the middle-class won’t pay in taxes.

    We’ll pay in increased costs of good and services. No sane or educated consumer would believe otherwise.

  5. Well, for once Fakeahauntass told the truth. Her socialist/fascist plan won’t raise taxes by 1 penny. It’ll be several thousand pennies. How clever of her! LOL

    SamFox

    1. It is obvious that you spent no time at all reading the funding of her M4A plan. None.

  6. Remember when Democrats, led by Pelosi and the all powerful Obamanation told us that Obamacare would not raise premiums. Who believed that one? Well, the Democrat cult followers did. Then, they tried to blame the increases in premiums on Republicans who tried to sound the alarm. This is more of the same. Promise no tax increases and then double or triple taxes to pay for it. When it adds trillions to the debt, Democrats will blame Republicans again. Methinks Pocahontas is brain dead and a liar. Ride her out of town on a rail.

    1. Charles, the debt is currently so huge it will never be paid off, thanks to Obama. What makes Pocohontas think we need a little more than 20 trillion dollars more to add to the more than 20 trillion we currently owe. I’m wondering where she gets here advice from. This will never work and she will never work in this country as president.

  7. Here’s my proposal Chief Warren of the made up tribe. Whatever sham plan you enact FORCE all members of Congress, and Senate every single government employee at every single level enroll in this. Then make who’s paying and how much transparent 100% set flat rates that everyone pays, and if your income is higher you just pay more because you can afford it. They have all these loopholes for the rich and connected while us commoners have to pay a percentage no wiggle room. Tax everyone 15% of their income and that’s exactly what they pay period. The thing is you don’t want to pay for this or be enrolled in this because you know it’s inferior to the things you have access to for being an elected civil servant. Well I guess you were elected I bet if we checked every single vote and then tried to locate this person who voted those numbers might vary. I mean we only have video evidence of ONLY Democrats cheating telling illegals to vote and having the dead cast ballots in their favor. Yet there are still people out there who are like the Democrats are the party of the people they care about us best joke I’ve ever heard.

  8. Lizzie,

    Convince me WHY I should pay for people I neither care about nor know, which I’ve done for decades via Social Security and other “involuntary” paycheck deductions.

    I’ll never know them or care about them, nor would they ever be able be able to reciprocate (except as organ donors or protein sources). THAT’S REALITY AND HUMAN NATURE. They are simply #s in the reality of things.

    Like I or other taxpayers could give a shit about them when we have our own interests THAT WE PAY FOR.

    1. Man you couldn’t be more accurate in your statement. While I care about others its not mine or yours responsibility to take care of them.

  9. Lizzie….consider the savings of having EVERY SINGLE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE including CONGRESS go on Medicare. How about you push that?

    Don’t worry. You’re covered by Hahvard’s and Massachusettt’s healthcare. Maybe YOU should give those up to be more creditable. Your math still sucks.

  10. why would anyone believe anything she says. She is a proven liar and to her benefit.
    As for Medicare-for-all, imagine a health system like the one for veterans as anything the government touches turns to ________(fill in the blank).

  11. She needs to show the actual research data to back her words. If she is going to just continue just throwing out words without it then she would need to stop lying to the public then. I doubt that there has been a true in depth research done because the magnitude and logistics of that with it costing $52 trillion would take years and hundreds of Accounts and Lawyers to accomplish that task.

    1. I am confused.

      What has she said that proves to you that she has lied?

  12. So the working class will pay the middle class to sit at home. What’s new?

  13. I make one polite Conservative post and I am a suspected spammer that gets blocked by IJR after I have already made a post to one article before this one.

    1. It happens to everyone, regardless of which way their posts lean. This website is barely functional, since it’s not the important part of IJR’s mission. There’s a good chance this reply will break the thread entirely.

    2. They did that go me for awhile also it was troll bots spam reporting you. They seem to have figured out the reports are bullshit since I no longer have the issue.

  14. Yeah, and cut out 2m jobs that were formed and saved by this President. And her statement is that “it happens but they can move to other medical service”. I ask “Like what?”
    Then the Democrats can “excuse” themselves and their staffs from being made to use the same medical services. Just like they did with the “wonderful” ACA?
    She might just read the coverage of Medicare and see if they really want to be covered totally by that. And What will happen with the retired military who have TriCare, which is an Advantage plan going with Medicare?
    All of these questions are legitimate to see if she really has any clue to the devastation that will occur if everyone is on Medicare For All. Plus WE THE PEOPLE have paid for Medicare with taxes taken from our pay. Just another greedy know nothing twerp who has no idea what is truly needed.

    1. But we have to cover the illegals and people who refuse to work

  15. Just like her claim to be part Native American , this too is bovine feces.

  16. Warren is a liar and a fraud. She is very free with taxpayer money while clutching her vast wealth to her bony chest!

  17. Hey Liz, I’m selling a prime piece of land in North Dakota with an oceanfront view if you’re interested?

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