Nov 1, 2019

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 482 words, a 2 minute read.

1 big thing: How middle class workers will pay for Medicare for All

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's newly released plan to pay for Medicare for All leaves the middle class financially better off, but it needs to raise $20.5 trillion over a decade — which she says she does with "not one penny in middle class tax increases," Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.

Reality check: It's true that the middle class won't directly pay any new taxes. And they won't have to pay the individual premiums and out-of-pocket costs that they pay now.

  • But Warren would redirect the trillions of dollars projected to be spent by employers on private health insurance into Medicare for All contributions — which would be collected as taxes.

The big picture: Employers will directly pay for Medicare for All, and economists predict that this will get passed onto workers through reduced wages — just as employers' costs for private health insurance are passed on today.

  • Employers currently pay a portion of workers' premiums, but it's widely assumed by economists that workers ultimately pay for these costs through lower wages.
  • So whether employers are paying a premium contribution or a tax — and Warren's plan is designed for the shift to slightly save money for employers — it's assumed that employees ultimately bear the cost.
  • However, the estimated $11 trillion over 10 years that Americans would pay in individual premium contributions and out-of-pocket spending would disappear, leaving the middle class ultimately better off.

Yes, but: There's plenty of skepticism about Warren's math and some of her revenue streams.

  • And whether her plan would actually improve the health care system — especially in the way she would squeeze various payments to health care industries — is another question.
  • Subscribe to Axios Vitals for more on that on Monday.

Go deeper: Warren releases Medicare for All plan

Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. forces accompanied by Kurdish fighters patrolled part of Syria's border with Turkey, in the first such move since Washington withdrew troops from the area last month, an AFP correspondent reported.

2. What you missed
  1. The U.S. economy added 128,000 jobs in October — more than the 75,000 economists expected — while the unemployment rate ticked higher to 3.6%. Go deeper.
  2. OZY Media has raised $35 million in new venture capital funding. Go deeper.
  3. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi isn't a "big fan" of Medicare for All, calling the program "expensive." Go deeper.
  4. China said it has reached a consensus in principle, related to the ongoing trade war with the U.S., according to CNBC.
  5. The U.S. government reportedly plans to probe TikTok over national security concerns. Go deeper.
  6. It's more important than ever for companies to have privacy experts, to help them obey proliferating laws on how consumers' data can be used — but it's hard to find people with the expertise to do it. Go deeper.
3. 1 🎤 thing

Photo: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Miranda Lambert is back with a new album of rock and punk-influenced country hits, her first solo record since the 2016 double album that followed her divorce, AP reports.

  • Why it matters: Lambert, who has more Country Music Association Awards than other female artist, is nominated for female vocalist of the year, a trophy she has won seven times. She will be performing her new single, “It All Comes Out in the Wash,” which Lambert said kind of sums up her new album.