Health Care

Michael Bennett Slams Warren’s Medicare for All Plan: The ‘New Numbers are Simply Not Believable’

Sen. Michael Bennet speaks on the second night of the second Democratic presidential debate in Detroit, Mich., July 31, 2019. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Democratic senator and long shot presidential candidate Michael Bennet panned the new details of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare for All plan on Friday, arguing that the cost estimates she provided simply won’t cover the services her plan promises.

“Voters are sick and tired of politicians promising them things that they know they can’t deliver,” the Colorado senator said in a statement. “Warren’s new numbers are simply not believable and have been contradicted by experts. Regardless of whether it’s $21 trillion or $31 trillion, this isn’t going to happen, and the American people need health care.”

Warren on Friday released the cost estimate of her plan, which increases federal spending by $21 trillion over the next ten years, a significant increase that is nevertheless cheaper than the $31 trillion increase attributed to Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All plan.

The plan does not directly tax the middle class but does levy $9 trillion in additional taxes on employers over the next decade. The Massachusetts lawmaker argues that the employer tax would simply replace the cost employers currently incur to provide employee health insurance plans.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, another 2020 contender, said the plan’s nearly $9 trillion tax on employers would end up hitting middle class workers hardest as employers would simply pass them along to rank-and-file employees.

“The mathematical gymnastics in 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,” Biden’s deputy communications director Kate Bedingfield said.

Former Maryland congressman John Delaney, another long shot Democratic 2020 candidate, dismissed the plan as well, saying Warren’s “numbers don’t add up,” but the “public options” plans more moderate Democrats have proposed are not enough.

“A ‘public option’ is a government run insurance company that does not go nearly far enough in addressing the inequality in our healthcare system,” Delaney said in a pair of tweets on the issue. “We need universal healthcare; most developed nations have universal healthcare. But Medicare4all is a bad plan, BetterCare works.”

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