Senator Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) and South Bend, Ind. mayor Pete Buttigieg criticized Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) during Tuesday evening’s debate over her refusal to admit that her Medicare for All plan would require an increase in middle-class taxes.
“Let me be clear on this. Costs will go up for the wealthy. They will go up for big corporations. And for middle-class families, they will go down,” Warren said when asked if her proposal would require an increase in middle class taxes. “I will not sign a bill into law that does not lower costs for middle-class families.”
Warren has repeatedly dodged questioning over whether a Medicare for All plan would raise taxes for the middle class, instead arguing that overall “costs will go down.”
The response drew a challenge from Pete Buttigieg, who released an ad Monday touting the advantages of his public option plan, which, unlike Sanders’ and Warrens’ Medicare for All proposal, preserves the private insurance market.
“A yes or no question that didn’t get a yes or no answer,” Buttigieg said. “Look, this is why people here in the Midwest are so frustrated with Washington in general, and Capitol Hill. No plan has been laid out to explain how a multi-trillion-dollar hole in this Medicare for All plan that Senator Warren is putting forward.”
After Warren responded by stating Medicare for All is the “way we get health care coverage for every single American,” Bernie Sanders added, “as someone who wrote the damn bill” that “it is appropriate to acknowledge that taxes will go up.”
Klobuchar then weighed in and took aim at Warren, casting her health-care plan as a fanciful and politically unrealistic commitment.
“At least Bernie’s being honest here and saying how he’s gonna pay for this and that taxes are going to go up,” she said. “I’m sorry Elizabeth, but you’ve not said that, and I think we owe it to the American people to tell them where we’re gonna send the invoice.”
“I appreciate Elizabeth’s work. The difference between a plan and a pipe dream is something that you can actually get done,” she added.
Later in the debate, former vice president Joe Biden gave his thoughts, claiming that “I’m the only one on this stage that has gotten anything really big done. Both [Sanders and Warren] are being vague on the issue of the Medicare for all.”