Elizabeth Warren has been catching flak from her fellow Democrat presidential candidates over her refusal to say how she will pay for her $30 trillion plus Medicare for All plan.
In contrast to Bernie, who is honest enough to say he’ll raise taxes including on the middle class (though even that won’t raise enough revenue), Warren has employed the same strategy she use when caught falsely claiming to be Native American: Deflect and delay.
Despite Medicare for All being central to Warren’s campaign, she has no plan for it. She has no way to pay for it. She won’t answer questions about how much taxes will increase, particularly for the middle class. Instead, now that her back is to the wall, she says she is working on a plan.
I appeared on Fox News @Night with Shannon Bream on October 21, to discuss Warren’s anticipated “plan” (transcript below the video).
SHANNON BREAM: Senator Warren doubling down. You heard there, on Medicare for all and pushing ahead with their other progressive proposals as she is surging in the polls. Let’s discuss it now with democratic strategist Dave Brown, and Cornell Clinical Professor of Law and founder of the Legal Insurrection website. William Jacobson. Welcome to you both.
WAJ: Good to be here.
BREAM: So the New York Times is pointing out that the Senator is not answering questions when she’s pushed again and again We saw this in the debate last week about whether this means an increase in taxes for the middle class. They say she’s sidestepped questions about raising taxes no matter who was asking, and when Ms. Warren’s repeated refusal to explicitly say whether she would raise taxes on the middle class to help fund Medicare for All has stood in stark contrast to how she’s talked about other policy areas, providing lengthy, detailed plans. Professor, what do you expect when she finally tells us how she’s going to pay for this price tag?
WAJ: Well, I think there’s gonna, it’s going to be the way things typically go in Washington. There’ll be projections, there’ll be formulas put into the projections that will get her the result that she wants. But the question will be whether those formulas in those projections are realistic. Because as we know, government programs always end up costing a lot more than they’re projected to cost. And the revenues that come from taxes to fund those programs are always less than projected. So I think that’s going to be the real test. Is she coming up with the real world projection and a real world plan or is it essentially going to be pie in the sky? And apparently many of her democratic contenders do not have confidence that she’s going to come up with a realistic plan. So this criticism isn’t even coming from Republicans. It’s coming from other Democrats. And I think that’s a very telling sign.
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BREAM: Well, the Kaiser family foundation polls on this about Medicare for All and initially when you ask people, it has a positive rating, but we will put up some of these results, when you start asking them about delays in treatments, whether it would require people to pay more taxes, whether it would eliminate private health insurance companies, they are not feeling it at all.
Professor quickly, do you think that this is something that can be sold to the American people?
WAJ: Well, I think it’s going to be very difficult because this is the centerpiece of her political platform and she doesn’t even have a plan for it. She has a plan for everything else except for the thing that’s the centerpiece of her political platform and that’s really quite astounding. And I think she’s going to have a hard time selling it because giving everybody free healthcare sounds great, but there’s no real ‘free’, people are going to have to pay for it and that’s really the question that she doesn’t want to answer.
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