Budget Watchdog: Elizabeth Warren's Health Plan Is Impossible Without Raising Taxes on Middle Class


According to a recent study by a nonpartisan budget watchdog, “Medicare for All” proposals submitted by 2020 Democratic presidential candidates will be impossible to implement without increasing taxes on middle-class families.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget concluded that “our analysis finds fully offsetting the cost [of single-payer health care] would require higher taxes on the middle class.”

Many Democratic candidates in the 2020 field have embraced “Medicare for All” plans, but Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposal has drawn particular scrutiny for the senator’s unwillingness to explain how she would fund the health care proposal.

Most recently, Warren evaded a question about “Medicare for All” and middle-class taxes during the Democratic presidential debate on Oct. 15.

When asked twice by a moderator if she would acknowledge that her plan would raise taxes on the middle class (as fellow candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has done), she gave ambiguous answers both times.

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“Costs will go up for the wealthy, they will go up for big corporations, and for middle-class families, they will go down. I will not sign a bill into law that does not lower costs for middle-class families,” Warren said.

Her evasion prompted a response from Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who called the senator out on her refusal to answer clearly.

“A yes or no question that didn’t get a yes or no answer,” Buttigieg responded from the debate stage.

Another candidate, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, also attacked Warren for her non-answer.

Do you think Warren will admit that her plan will require middle-class tax hikes?

“At least Bernie’s being honest here and saying how he’s going to pay for this, and that taxes are going to go up,” Klobuchar said.

“And I’m sorry, Elizabeth, but you have not said that, and I think we owe it to the American people to tell them where we’re going to send the invoice.”

Watch the full exchange below:

The analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget may help explain Warren’s reticence.

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The watchdog group found that even “an extremely aggressive list of tax increases on the wealthy and corporations” would only cover about 40 percent of the cost of a single-payer system.

Total costs may go either up or down, according to the study, but “regardless of the overall impact of Medicare for All, it is clear that taxes on the middle class would have to rise in order to pay for it.”

“There is simply not enough available revenue from high earners and businesses to cover the full cost of eliminating premiums, ending all cost-sharing, and expanding coverage to all Americans and for (virtually) all health services.”

Warren said on Sunday that in the coming weeks she will be releasing a plan detailing how she will fund her “Medicare for All” plan, according to The New York Times.

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