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SamWhited|blog

Paying for Medicare for All

Medicare for All

TL;DR — If you only have time to read one post today, read Warren’s plan.


Today, 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren released her plan to fund a program commonly known as “Medicare for All”. After a sticky moment in the last debate where she was pressed about how she would pay for it, Warren didn’t come off looking great.

However, I thought it was unfair of the moderators to press her on how she would pay for her proposal. They immediately framed the debate about the expense of her plan without pressing the other top tier candidates who support sticking with the current healthcare system how we can continue to pay for a ruinously expensive system that likely costs more than Medicare for All.

Today she called out her fellow candidates who don't support Medicare for All and reframed the debate around the incredible costs associated with existing healthcare: “Right now, America’s total bill for health care is projected to be $52 trillion for the next ten years.” If we're already paying for the current system, there is absolutely no justification for claiming that we can't pay for Medicare for All which costs less than the current system: “[Switching] to [Warren’s] approach to Medicare for All, which would cost the country just under $52 trillion over ten years.”

After the debate I also said:

The moderators … still seemed hell bent on providing Fox News with a clip of Warren saying she’d raise taxes. We all know what she was saying, the voters aren’t stupid, she just has to say it in a round about way to avoid letting it be taken out of context.

Today she proved me entirely wrong stating in no uncertain terms that there will be “No middle class tax increases.” Presumably the hedging was a way of keeping her options open until she had released the plan that so many candidates were claiming she should have had first (never mind the fact that they have few or no detailed plans themselves).

In fact, Medicare for All amounts to the largest tax break on middle class American’s in this countries history:

No middle class tax increases. $11 trillion in household expenses back in the pockets of American families. That’s substantially larger than the largest tax cut in American history.

With every plan Warren more firmly cements herself as my choice for the nomination. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll go all in on supporting her, or some other candidate, but hopefully after the debates in Georgia later this month I’ll have a clear enough picture of the field to make a decision.

If you’re curious about the details of how she’ll pay for it, how existing state and workplace budgets will improve, and all the other nitty gritty details, I encourage you to read her plan. One thing is for sure: whomever I end up backing better have a plan for getting me, and the rest of the country, on Medicare.