Medicare for All: Warren’s plan to pay for it
Elizabeth Warren thinks that she can pay for Medicare for All without having to “soak the middle class,” said Russell Berman in TheAtlantic.com. Under pressure to explain how she would fund universal health care without raising taxes for ordinary Americans, the Democratic presidential candidate has released a detailed plan that lays the burden on corporations and the wealthy. Warren’s plan calls for $20.5 trillion in new spending over the next 10 years to replace almost all private health insurance with a government-run, single-payer system in which consumers would have no premiums, no deductibles, and no co-payments. To pay for it, Warren would impose an array of new taxes, including a 6 percent tax on assets above $1 billion, a tax on financial transactions, and a levy that transfers what employers now spend on health insurance to the government.
Warren “may as well have said Mexico is going to pay” for Medicare for All, said Philip Klein in WashingtonExaminer.com. Warren’s plan falls far short of the $34 trillion that the liberal Urban Institute has estimated a plan like hers would cost, which she papers over with $7 trillion in “phantom savings.” For instance, she proposes to raise $2.3 trillion by going after tax dodgers, even though the Congressional Budget Office estimates increased IRS enforcement would only raise $35 billion. In an insult to our intelligence, Warren insists that her magical plan will insure all 330 million Americans by raising taxes only on billionaires, said Noah Rothman in CommentaryMagazine.com. “If you believe that 607 Americans alone can finance this package, Warren also has a Green New Deal to sell you.”
“Warren’s plan is a campaign prop first, and a policy document second,” said Eric Levitz in NYMag.com. Her aim is “to neutralize the ‘middle-class tax hike’ talking point” and dare the naysayers to come up with a better idea for providing universal coverage, which should be the ultimate goal. Warren’s plan is politically clever, said Ross Douthat in The New York Times, but she’s still trapped. Her earlier plans for universal child care and taking on corporate monopolies are popular. She adopted Medicare for All only because it became a liberal litmus test, but the “potent fear” 150 million Americans have of losing their existing health insurance probably makes it a big liability no matter what. “No sane Democrat should want it as the centerpiece of their national campaign.”