Nov 3, 2019

Sanders calls his Medicare for All plan "far more" progressive than Warren's

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders defended his Medicare for All plan on the campaign trail in Iowa, telling ABC News that it's "much more progressive in terms of protecting the financial well being of middle income families" than Sen. Elizabeth Warren's plan, which she unveiled last week.

Why it matters: Warren has frequently said she's "with Bernie" on Medicare for All, but the health care truce between two of the most progressive candidates in the race seemingly broke with Warren's newly released plan.

Details: The main difference between Sander's and Warren's plans is middle-class taxes. Sanders has said he is open to increasing taxes on middle-class Americans, but he has yet to release a detailed plan of how to finance his single-payer Medicare for All plan.

  • Warren claims that her plan would not take "one penny in middle-class tax increases."
  • Instead, Warren would pay for the plan — which would cost $20.5 trillion over 10 years — by taxing corporations and the richest 1% of Americans, reallocating defense spending and cracking down on tax fraud and evasion.
  • Her plan would also create a formula for employer contributions to Medicare for All based on their health care spending.

What they're saying: Sanders also told ABC News that he believes Warren's plan could harm job creation by drawing funds from employers.

  • “I think that that would probably have a very negative impact on creating those jobs, or providing wages, increased wages and benefits for those workers. ... So I think we have a better way, which is a 7.5% payroll tax, which is far more I think progressive, because it’ll not impact employers of low wage workers but hit significantly employers of upper income people.”
  • At a town hall event at a high school gymnasium in Dubuque, Iowa, Warren defended her plan, saying: "All I can say is that employers will pay the same as they’re paying currently under Obamacare. In fact, they pay a little bit less. We stabilize it at 98% of what they’re paying right now and they won’t have to have HR departments that are wrestling with insurance companies. So this is something that’s going to help employers."
  • When asked about Sanders' criticism, Warren later told reporters on Sunday: "Bernie may have a different vision of how to pay for it, but let's be really clear, Bernie and I are headed in exactly the same direction."

Of note: The two candidates spoke on the phone about Warren's plan after its release, according to ABC.

Go deeper: How middle class workers will pay for Medicare for All

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The growing anti-Warren consensus shows the limitations of her plans

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

The Economist came down hard on Sen. Elizabeth Warren last month, describing her regulatory proposals as "jaw-dropping" and warning of "a severe shock" were her plans to be enacted.

The state of play: Similar sentiment has arrived from Steve Rattner, the manager of Mike Bloomberg's fortune, who says that a "Warren presidency is a terrifying prospect." Billionaires Leon Cooperman and Jamie Dimon have also joined the chorus.

Go deeperArrowNov 7, 2019

Warren bets the White House on Medicare for All

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios - Note: Hover over the weekly rank on desktop to see articles and interactions for each candidate and issue.

Elizabeth Warren, who rose to the top with big liberal bets, is banking a big slice of her presidential run on full-throated support for Medicare for All. 

Why it matters: Warren is taking a beating on social media after claiming middle class Americans won’t pay higher taxes to fund health care coverage fully paid for by taxpayers, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios. At the same time, her poll numbers nationally are slipping. 

Go deeperArrowNov 7, 2019

Elizabeth Warren reveals Medicare for All roadmap

Elizabeth Warren. Photo: Sarah Rice/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's presidential campaign on Friday unveiled what would be her roadmap for overhauling the country's health care system if elected, carving out an initial public option with the promise of implementing 'Medicare for All' within her first three years in office.

Why it matters: The plan gives Warren a defense against criticism that she would abruptly strip away Americans' ability to choose their care and force them off private insurance.

Go deeperArrowNov 15, 2019