Five things to know about Warren’s Medicare for All funding plan
Her proposal outlined cost estimates for providing universal health care and how she plans to raise taxes on employers, corporations and the wealthy to finance a policy that’s become a defining aspect of her White House bid.
Here are five things to know about how Warren’s plan to fund Medicare for All.
Skepticism about effect on middle class taxes
Warren said her plan would be paid for without increasing taxes on the middle class, but not everyone agrees with her assertion.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, a fellow front-runner in the field of Democratic candidates, singled out Warren’s proposed “employer Medicare contribution,” estimated to raise nearly $9 trillion, as a tax increase on the middle class.
“For months, Elizabeth Warren has refused to say if her health care plan would raise taxes on the middle class, and now we know why: because it does,” Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said Friday.
Warren responded to those criticisms by saying that “if Joe Biden doesn’t like that, I’m just not sure where he’s going,” adding that she’s building on ObamaCare.
Some tax experts, particularly on the right, agree with Biden’s critique.
But other tax policy analysts, particularly on the left, said it appears Warren’s claim about not raising middle-class taxes is true.
They argued that the status quo would remain for employees, and employees could gain, under the employer-contribution proposal because employees are shifting from making payments to private insurers to making slightly smaller payments to the federal government to fund Medicare for All.
The analysts also argued the corporate tax changes and financial transaction tax would overwhelmingly be borne by the wealthy.
$20.5 trillion in new federal spending
Warren’s plan would cost just under $52 trillion over 10 years, including $20.5 trillion in new federal spending.
An Urban Institute estimate released last month showed a single-payer plan like Medicare for All would need an additional $34 trillion in new federal money over a decade.
John Holahan, a co-author of the study, said the assumptions Warren made in her spending estimate are “possible” but are “more aggressive” than the assumptions made by the Urban Institute.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the original author of Medicare for All legislation, has estimated his plan would cost $30 trillion.
Warren’s opponents are likely to cite those discrepancies in arguing her plan is not feasible.
“Warren’s new numbers are simply not believable, and have been contradicted by experts,” said fellow White House hopeful Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). “Regardless of whether it’s $21 trillion or $31 trillion, this isn’t going to happen, and the American people need health care.”