Now we know why Sen. Elizabeth Warren hasn’t released a cost estimate for her Medicare-For-All plan until now.
$52,000,000,000,000. That’s 52 trillion dollars. That’s how much the program, which would offer free health to “all 331 million Americans,” would cost over a decade.
Wait, Warren said the cost would be “just under $52 trillion.” Phew.
No one would have “to pay for premiums or copays or any of the other ways health insurance companies stick you with the bill,” Warren says on her website. “What’s more, Elizabeth’s plan for Medicare for All doesn’t raise middle-class taxes by one penny.”
On Friday, Warren wrote on Twitter: “Here’s the headline: My plan won’t raise taxes one penny on middle-class families. In fact, we’ll return about $11 TRILLION to the American people. That’s bigger than the biggest tax cut in our history. Here’s how.”
Today, I’m releasing my plan to pay for #MedicareForAll. Here’s the headline: My plan won’t raise taxes one penny on middle-class families. In fact, we’ll return about $11 TRILLION to the American people. That’s bigger than the biggest tax cut in our history. Here’s how:
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) November 1, 2019
But Warren’s numbers are suspect. She says 87 million American adults in 2018 were uninsured or “underinsured” – meaning either “they have no insurance or their so-called health insurance is like a car with the engine missing. It looks fine sitting on the lot, but is inadequate if they actually need to use it.”
When former president Barack Obama pushed Obamacare through Congress, he said more than 50 million people were uninsured or underinsured, so that number has gone up by 27 million?
How will it all be paid for?
“The $11 trillion in household insurance and out-of-pocket expenses projected under our current system goes right back into the pockets of America’s working people,” Warren writes. “And we make up the difference with targeted spending cuts, new taxes on giant corporations and the richest 1% of Americans, and by cracking down on tax evasion and fraud. Not one penny in middle-class tax increases.”
“How is it all paid for? Well, if you’re not in the top 1%, Wall Street, or a big corporation—congratulations, you don’t pay a penny more and you’re fully covered by
#MedicareForAll,” Warren wrote on Twitter.
That, too, is suspect.
“The campaign’s detailed Medicare-for-all proposal, however, insists that the costs can be covered by a combination of existing federal and state spending on Medicare and other health care — as well as myriad taxes on employers, financial transactions, the ultra-wealthy and large corporations and some savings elsewhere,” Fox News reports. “Those measures are meant to pay for a projected $20.5 trillion in new federal spending. Notably, they include what is essentially a payroll tax increase on employers, something economists generally say can hit workers in the form of reduced wages.”
Warren also proposes even more taxes on the ultra-rich, expanding on her previously announced signature wealth tax, to tax more of anyone’s net worth over $1 billion (estimated to raise another $1 trillion). Warren also calls for raising capital gains tax rates for the wealthy, taxing more foreign earnings and imposing a tax on financial transactions to generate $800 billion in revenue.
Warren’s plan does address one serious problem: Lobbyists.