here's the plan
February 24, 2020

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is rolling out his free universal child care plan.

The Vermont senator and 2020 Democratic frontrunner on Monday said that as president, he will "guarantee every child in America free full-day, full-week, high-quality child care from infancy through age three, regardless of income" and also guarantee "every child access to a full-day, full-week pre-kindergarten education regardless of income, starting at age 3."

The Sanders campaign said that under his plan, child care will be provided at least 10 hours a day and "at times to serve parents who work non-traditional hours." The program, according to the proposal, will cost the federal government $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years, paid for by Sanders' tax on the "extreme wealth" of the top 0.1 percent of households. The government will set "quality standards" under the plan.

"Our current child care and early education system in the United States is an international embarrassment," the Sanders campaign said.

Bloomberg notes that Sanders' plan joins the $700 billion plan from fellow presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), which details a proposal to provide free child care for low-income families and charge others based on their ability to pay.

Sanders previously spoke about his universal child care plan in an interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday, brushing off a question from Anderson Cooper suggesting it's not "clear" how his proposed programs will be funded.

"It is clear how it's going to be paid for," Sanders said. "...It's taxes on billionaires." Brendan Morrow

September 19, 2019

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is rolling out his campaign's health care proposal, which he's referring to as "Medicare for all who want it."

Buttigieg, who in last week's Democratic debate drew a contrast between his position on health care reform and the Medicare-for-all proposals from Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), announced Thursday new details of his plan to offer a public option alongside private insurance.

"If private insurers are not able to offer something dramatically better, this public plan will create a natural glide-path to Medicare-for-all," Buttigieg says on his website. He also touts that his plan "gives the American people a choice." Other details of his proposal include expanding premium subsidies and automatically enrolling low-income Americans who live in states that didn't expand Medicaid.

In a op-ed for The Washington Post published Thursday, Buttigieg additionally writes that "there's a real difference" between his plan and that of Sanders and Warren, writing that he wouldn't be "flipping a switch and kicking almost 160 million Americans off their private insurance." Vice President Joe Biden's plan is similar to Buttigieg's, as he has proposed adding a public option to the Affordable Care Act.

Buttigieg in his op-ed also argues his opponents are not being "honest and straightforward about the details" of their plans and writes that his, which he says costs $1.5 trillion over a decade, will "bring us together rather than push us even further apart."

The Washington Post's Paige Winfield Cunningham writes that Buttigieg is a "prime example of how most of the Democratic presidential contenders have distanced themselves from the dramatic overhaul envisioned by Sanders," although Vox's Dylan Scott argues the plan is "still ambitious" and "very much reflects the leftward shift of the Democratic mainstream." Brendan Morrow

August 22, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has announced an aggressive climate change plan that he tells The New York Times puts "meat on the bones" of the Green New Deal.

Sanders on Thursday unveiled his $16.3 trillion plan, which calls for the U.S. to reach 100 percent renewable energy for electricity and transportation "no later than" 2030, as well as for "complete decarbonization" by 2050. He refers to the plan itself, which would also declare climate change a national emergency, as a Green New Deal.

The senator's plan, the Times notes, is more expensive than that of any other candidate in the race; for comparison, former Vice President Joe Biden has released a climate change plan that calls for spending $1.7 trillion over 10 years. Sanders says his proposal would "pay for itself" in 15 years and create 20 million jobs. He would, among other things, impose new taxes on the fossil fuel industry and eliminate subsidies, which he says would account for $3.1 trillion and be a way of making the industry "pay for their pollution." The plan does not include a carbon tax.

Axios notes that Sanders' plan, though more specific than the Green New Deal, is "more of a vision statement than a pathway for policy that stands much chance of implementation as proposed," with "huge sections" requiring cooperation from Capitol Hill.

"I have seven grandchildren, and I'm going to be damned if I’m going to leave them a planet that is unhealthy and uninhabitable," Sanders told the Times, also saying that "we must be extraordinarily aggressive."

Sanders announced his climate change plan just after Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), whose campaign was the only one focused entirely on the issue of climate change, left the 2020 race. The Democratic candidates are set to participate in a climate change-centric debate next month. Read more about Sanders' plan at The New York Times. Brendan Morrow

July 29, 2019

Ahead of the second round of Democratic presidential debates, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has just announced her health-care proposal.

Harris says that under her plan, all Americans would be able to buy into Medicare immediately. A "new and improved" Medicare system would then be expanded over the course of a decade, which would "give all doctors time to get into the system, and provide a commonsense path for employers, employees, the underinsured, and others on federally-designated programs, such as Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act exchanges, to transition," she said.

In describing this 10-year transition, Harris calls out Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has proposed a transition period of four years, CNN notes. "By extending the phase-in period to 10 years, we will decrease the overall cost of the program compared to the Sanders proposal," Harris said.

Harris' plan would not eliminate private insurers, though. Instead, they would be able to offer their own Medicare plans, so long as they adhere to certain standards.

"Essentially, we would allow private insurance to offer a plan in the Medicare system, but they will be subject to strict requirements to ensure it lowers costs and expands services," Harris said. "If they want to play by our rules, they can be in the system. If not, they have to get out."

After 10 years, Harris says every American would be enrolled in a Medicare plan. "They will get insurance either through the new public Medicare plan or a Medicare plan offered by a private insurer within that system," she said.

Harris says she would raise taxes to pay for this plan, but she once again calls out Sanders' proposal by saying she would exempt households making below $100,000, whereas Sanders would tax households making more than $29,000. Though they won't share the same stage, don't be surprised to hear a rebuttal from Sanders during the first night of Democratic debates on July 30. Brendan Morrow

June 4, 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden has unveiled his plan to combat climate change, promising to go "well beyond" the Obama administration.

Biden's proposal unveiled on Tuesday calls for the United States to achieve net-zero emissions and a 100 percent clean energy economy "no later than 2050." The Green New Deal, which Biden praises in his announcement as a "crucial framework," calls for net-zero emissions by 2030, Bloomberg notes. Biden will urge Congress to pass a law that "establishes an enforcement mechanism that includes milestone targets" within his first year in office.

The proposal calls for a $1.7 trillion federal investment in clean energy and environmental justice over 10 years, which the campaign says would be paid for through tax code changes, such as reversing President Trump's tax cuts for corporations. It also calls for additional investments from the private sector and from state and local governments to bring the total to more than $5 trillion.

Biden additionally says that after rejoining the Paris climate accord, he will push to "dramatically accelerate our worldwide effort" to combat climate change.

The former vice president's announcement specifically says he will go "well beyond" the Obama administration's platform and sign a series of executive orders on his first day. The Associated Press notes that Biden's plan is similar to the one proposed by former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, while its call for a $1.7 trillion federal investment is not as ambitious as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's proposal for $3 trillion in federal spending over 10 years.

Prior to this announcement, Biden had received criticism from Democrats following a report that he would aim for "middle ground" in his plan, which the campaign denied. The Washington Post notes that Biden's plan "leaves unsaid what exactly his enforcement mechanism would look like," while Bloomberg writes that seeing as the proposal's timeline for cutting emissions is not as ambitious as the Green New Deal, it's "unlikely to mute all of his critics." Brendan Morrow

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