Nov 2, 2019 - Health

Centrist Democrats brace for blowback on Warren's Medicare-for-all plan

Elizabeth Warren waves at a crowd.
Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Leading centrist Democrats are bracing themselves for potential blowback after the release of 2020 presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren's $20.5 trillion Medicare-for-all plan, Politico reports.

Why it matters: The intraparty conflict over health care "exposes the fault line between those who fret about winning voters in the center and the activist progressive base propelling Warren to the front of the Democratic pack," Politico writes.

  • “This is going to cause down-ballot damage in swing districts and states if she’s the nominee,” Bri Buentello, a Colorado statehouse representative running for reelection in a district Trump won, told Politico.

The big picture: Districts that voted for former President Obama, then swung to Trump tend to have insured rates of 90% to 95%, Bill Burton, a former Obama campaign spokesperson and the founder of a superPAC that supported his reelection told Politco.

  • So “she’s potentially solving a problem that many of these voters may not share these views on,” Burton said.

The plan has attracted criticism from some Democrats, including those also seeking the nomination:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden described its details as "mathematical gymnastics."
  • Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet said its mathematics are "simply not believable."
  • On the same day Warren announced the plan, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she isn't "a big fan" of Medicare-for-all and called it "expensive."

The other side: “Democrats are not going to win by repeating Republican talking points and by dusting off the points of view of the giant insurance companies and the giant drug companies who don't want to see any change in the law that will bite into their profits,” Warren said Friday in response to Biden.

Go deeper: How middle class workers will pay for medicare-for-all

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