The Massachusetts senator famously "has a plan" for everything from providing universal child care to canceling college debt, but details of how she'd pay for her health plan come with far higher political stakes.
During a panel discussion on rural politics in Iowa Friday, Vilsack said Warren's plan wrongly suggests voters will accept that an increase in her proposed tax on the wealthiest Americans won't affect their own pocketbooks.
Her plan is built on transferring to the government 98% of the $8.8 trillion she estimates that employers will spend on private insurance for their employees. She also proposes removing some corporate tax loopholes. More moderate 2020 candidates such as Biden and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg have said Medicare for All would be too expensive. Warren openly advocates making all private health insurance-the kind that a large majority of Americans have-illegal.
Despite recent scrutiny, Warren has maintained her spot at or near the top of the pack in opinion polls.
Instead of income tax hikes, Warren would cover almost half that cost by collecting $9.1 trillion in additional taxes from corporations and high-income families over the next 10 years. She does acknowledge that any real transition to a Medicare for All system is going to require, you know, some disruption, and that in the weeks ahead, she will outline a transition plan that will deal with this.
Even her progressive ally Mr Sanders said during the debate "it is appropriate to acknowledge that taxes will go up".
Of the $52 trillion that Warren's plan would cost, she says $20.5 trillion will require new federal spending.More news: Amazon Black Friday deals: here's when the madness begins
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Warren has spent much of her campaign campaigning on a surtax on those with over $50 million in wealth. "Serious candidates for president should speak plainly about these issues and set out their plans for cost control - especially those who are skeptical of Medicare for All". Among those who vetted Warren's revenue projections were Simon Johnson, the former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund.
"We are excited that Warren has identified needless and harmful Pentagon spending as a source of funds to pay for health care and look forward to her and other candidates' additional proposals to shift money away from the Pentagon to meet the country's urgent priorities". Instead of paying an insurance company, however, they would pay the government. Warren says employers would save about $200 billion over current premiums.
Politico also accepted the premise from the Warren campaign, which was that "not one penny in middle-class tax increases" will occur under her Medicare for All plan.
"We can generate nearly half of what we need to cover Medicare for All just by asking employers to pay slightly less than what they are projected to pay today, and through existing taxes", she wrote. But we now have a response to "how would you pay for Medicare For All?" The fee/tax would charge employers a dollar amount per worker, rather than a percentage of each workers' income, like already-existing business-side payroll taxes do. Is Warren going to raise middle-class taxes as part of this?
He accused her of "hiding a simple truth from voters: it's impossible to pay for Medicare for All without middle-class tax increases".
Employers would be asked to repurpose the money they now spend on workers' healthcare into Medicare contributions, while billionaires, high-earning investors and corporations would face trillions of dollars in higher taxes.
This would make the top 1% of households pay a tax on investment gains each year, regardless of whether they actually realized those gains by selling those investments for a profit. Warren proposes shutting it down and repurposing most of it toward insurance. Warren also expanded her previously announced wealth tax by $1 trillion, doubling to 6 percent the rate on net worth above $1 billion.