Elizabeth Warren’s long-awaited “Medicare for all” plan is here and it’s even more expensive and unrealistic than anyone feared.
The government-run healthcare plan would cost “just under $52 trillion” over the next 10 years, according to an advance copy of the plan obtained by Fox News Network. That’s $20 trillion more than experts estimated. Warren plans to pay for it with a combination of existing federal and state spending on Medicare and Medicaid and a new round of taxes on the wealthy, corporations, employers, financial transactions, et cetera.
Note what’s missing from Warren’s tax plan: middle-class tax hikes. Warren’s campaign continues to insist it can come up with $52 trillion without affecting the middle class — a claim that no one’s going to buy, least of all her Democratic opponents.
Warren has gone one step further, claiming not only that there won’t be new middle-class taxes, but that she’ll actually return $11 trillion to working families. The idea here is that because many of these costs already exist under the current healthcare system in the form of premiums, unexpected medical bills, and deductibles, they can be easily redistributed to “Medicare for all.” The government would bear the weight of these costs for working Americans, saving families around $11 trillion over the next decade, Warren claims.
But that $11 trillion will never find its way back to the middle class. Instead, Warren plans to reallocate it to “Medicare for all,” taking what companies and employers currently pay for premiums and funneling that money into her one-size-fits-all solution.
Instead of raising taxes on the middle class, Warren has proposed new Medicare taxes on employers, claiming employers already pay a hefty sum for their employees’ current coverage. But when implemented, these Medicare taxes would look a lot like a payroll tax. The inevitable result would be reduced wages across the board. So regardless of whether the middle class are directly paying more in taxes, they’d still be taking home lower wages when employers slash their paychecks to meet Warren’s astronomical tax hikes.
And then there’s the wealth tax on anyone whose net worth is over $1 billion, the capital gains tax, and taxes on foreign earnings, and financial transactions — all of which will bring in about $2 trillion, Warren’s campaign estimates.
Besides the taxes, Warren’s campaign believes it can pull in additional funding through better tax enforcement and taking money from federal defense spending. All of this adds up to $52 trillion, apparently.
Warren claims to have the most detailed healthcare plan out of all the Democratic candidates, but it’s just as idealistic and unrealistic as the others. She’s trying to grab money from places where it doesn’t exist and reallocate existing funds to new programs with just the snap of her finger.
Warren’s entire plan rests on the assumption that she could easily transfer existing healthcare costs into “Medicare for all.” As someone who’s spent much of her adult life working in government, Warren should know that’s not how federal spending works. Money doesn’t just change hands in Washington, and it’s asinine to think a couple of new taxes would account for every penny currently spent.
Another important question Warren has yet to answer: Who does she consider middle class? What income must families make according to Warren’s plan? Until Warren offers a definition or a set of parameters, working families should assume that the effects of her healthcare plan will be the same as Barack Obama’s. Prices will go up and the coverage will get worse because Warren and her gang of idealists will assume most Americans are making more than they actually are.
Warren should have stopped while she was ahead. She knew her plan had holes but kept digging, and instead of a $32 trillion plan she came out with a $52 trillion one. Rather than admitting this astronomical cost will inevitably affect all Americans’ paychecks, Warren continues to double down on her claim that only the wealthy and corporate elites will pay. That argument is just as false as the first time she said it, and if anything, this detailed plan confirms that.