Health Care

Biden Says Warren’s Medicare for All Plan Would Require $9 Trillion Middle-Class Tax Hike

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden (left) speaks in South Carolina, U.S. October 26, 2019. (Sam Wolfe/Reuters)

Presidential candidate Joe Biden took a shot at the Medicare for All white paper released Friday by rival 2020 contender Senator Elizabeth Warren, saying her plan would require a nearly $9 trillion middle-class tax hike.

“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,” Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said. “Senator Warren would place a new tax of nearly $9 trillion that will fall on American workers.”

Warren on Friday released the results of her campaign’s numbers crunching on Medicare for All, which does not raise taxes on the middle class through an increase in income tax, but does include an almost $9 trillion tax on employers. The Massachusetts Democrat argues that the tax would simply replace the costs employers currently incur for their workers’ health insurance — but Biden warned that cost will ultimately be passed along to rank-and-file employees.

“There’s no two ways about it, we cannot defeat Donald Trump with double talk on health care — especially not about the impact and cost of a proposal to completely dismantle our health care system and eliminate employer-sponsored and all other private health insurance,” Bedingfield added.

Biden has repeatedly criticized Warren’s Medicare for All plan, which she claims would require $21 trillion in additional spending over ten years, which is significantly less than the cost projections for Senator Bernie Sanders’ similar plan. The former vice president instead favors expanding the existing Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration’s signature legislative accomplishment, so that all Americans would be eligible to sign up.

“My plan costs a lot,” Biden said from the Democratic debate stage in September. “But it doesn’t cost $30 trillion. That’s twice the entire federal budget before it exists now. How will we pay for it? I want to hear. [Warren] has not said how she’ll pay for it, and [Sanders] only gets about half way there. I lay out how I can pay for it and how I can get it done and why it’s better.”

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