Nov 15, 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.

The big picture: Sen. Bernie Sanders' proposal would require passing a single bill. But Warren would split the process by first expanding the reach of a more generous version of Medicaid in her first 100 days in office via a budget measure requiring only 51 Senate votes.

  • She would then "fight to pass legislation that would complete the transition to full Medicare for All" over her first three years in office.

Warren would keep employer-based care active throughout the process, but "the American people will have experienced the full benefits of a true Medicare for All option," which would build public support for a Medicare for All system.

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Warren's path to Medicare for All is rocky

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's two-part plan to pass a public option as a transition into Medicare for All — and then full-blown Medicare for All a few years later — has revealed the difficulty of appealing to both the pragmatic and progressive wings of the party.

The big picture: Warren's already being criticized by progressives for not being a Medicare for All purist, and because of the realities of governing, they may have a point: Passing two major health reforms in one term is unheard of.

Go deeperArrowNov 18, 2019

Democrats' divide on Medicare for All

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo. Photos: David McNew/Getty Images, Drew Angerer/Getty Images, Ethan Miller/Getty Images, and Zach Gibson/Getty Images

The way the Democratic candidates talk about "Medicare for All" has shifted and sharpened over the course of the campaign — and Medicare for All has gotten less popular in the process.

The state of play: When Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced his "Medicare for All" bill in 2017, all of his likely 2020 rivals in the Senate signed on as cosponsors, and many Democrats treated Medicare for All as a catch-all or a loosely defined goal.

Go deeperArrowDec 7, 2019 - Health

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