Nov 2, 2019

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

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

Go deeper

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

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.

Go deeperArrowNov 3, 2019

Moderate muscle rises against Dems’ 2020 left

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The early boom for 2020 Democrats' left turn is yielding to moderate muscle as Elizabeth Warren falls, Joe Biden persists and Pete Buttigieg rises.

  • What's happening: Poll after poll shows voters like the idea of Medicare for All. But the second you tell them about costs and tradeoffs, they turn on it.
  • Why it matters: A harsh spotlight on Warren's specifics collided with Mike Bloomberg's massive spending on a moderate message, as well as rising angst among donors and investors about risks of Warren-Sanders socialism.
Go deeperArrowNov 29, 2019