Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren released a funding plan for her Medicare for All proposal that did not include a tax increase on the middle class.
Warren’s proposal, which would cost more than $20 trillion, would be financed by, among other things, an increase to her wealth tax proposal.
Under Warren’s plan, middle-class families would no longer pay health care premiums or copays and would also not pay any new taxes. “However, they would pay taxes on whatever extra take-home pay they would receive in this new system,” NPR noted.
The bulk of the plan would be paid for by increasing her proposed wealth tax on the uber-rich from 3% to 6%. The plan would also raise taxes on employers, which she said would replace what companies currently pay for private insurance.
The plan would also create a tax on financial transactions like stock trades, reform investment gains taxes, and cut $800 billion in military spending.
Warren plan based on low estimate:
“Her financing plan is based on cost estimates that are on the low side, relative to those from other serious economists who have assessed the program. Her estimate of $20.5 trillion over 10 years is based on a recent cost model by the Urban Institute, but with several different assumptions that lower the cost from Urban’s estimate of $34 trillion over the same period,” The New York Times reported.
One of the ways Warren plans to lower costs is to put “substantial downward pressure on payments to hospitals, doctors and pharmaceutical companies,” The Times reported.
“She expects that an aggressive negotiation system could lower spending on generic medications by 30 percent compared with what Medicare pays now, for example, and spending on prescription drugs could fall by 70 percent,” the report added. “Payments to hospitals would be 10 percent higher on average than what Medicare pays now, a rate that would make some hospitals whole but would lead to big reductions for others. She would reduce doctors’ pay to the prices Medicare pays now, with additional reductions for specialists, and small increases to doctors who provide primary care.”
Biden already criticizing Warren plan:
Former Vice President Joe Biden quickly slammed Warren’s new plan, claiming that much of the new tax burden will still fall on middle-class families.
“For months, Elizabeth Warren has refused to say if her health care plan would raise taxes on the middle class, and now we know why: because it does,” his campaign said in a statement. “Senator Warren would place a new tax of nearly $9 trillion that will fall on American workers.”
The campaign called the plan “unrealistic” because it involves “a complete revamping of defense, immigration, and overall tax policy” which would require “further increase taxes on the middle class or break her commitment to these promised benefits.”
“The mathematical gymnastics of this plan are all geared towards hiding a simple truth from voters: it’s impossible to pay for Medicare for All without middle class tax increases,” the statement said.