Medicare for All

On Medicare for All, Elizabeth Warren Is Fundamentally Dishonest

Her refusal to answer a question about taxes isn’t just dodgy; it’s designed to mislead.


Elizabeth Warren is being fundamentally dishonest about Medicare for All. Not just vague. Not just evasive. Not just dodgy. Dishonest

At last night's Democratic primary debate, Warren repeatedly refused to admit something that is obviously true: that Medicare for All, the single-payer health care plan envisioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) that Warren says she supports, would require higher taxes on most Americans, including the middle class. 

We know that this is true because the plan would, according to multiple independent estimates as well as Sanders himself, cost somewhere in the range of $30 or $40 trillion over a decade. (A new estimate of the type of plan that Warren and Sanders support puts the cost at just a hair over $34 trillion.) That's $30 or $40 trillion in new government spending, on top of the federal spending that would have occurred otherwise. And as Sanders—who likes to remind people that he "wrote the damn bill"—has said on many occasions, that means higher taxes. Sanders has not proposed tax revenues that are sufficient to cover the cost of his plan. But he has, at least, been clear that higher taxes are part of the deal. 

Warren, pushed at last night's debate to acknowledge what even Sanders admits, declined. Instead, despite attacks from rival candidates Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.), and former Vice President Joe Biden, she stuck firmly to a canned talking point about "costs."

"We can pay for this," she said at one point. "I've laid out the basic principles. Costs are going to go up for the wealthy. They're going to go up for big corporations. They will not go up for middle-class families."

Warren's answer isn't just designed to avoid answering the question; it is designed to mislead. 

"We can pay for this," she says, yet the Sanders plan, as written, does not raise sufficient tax revenue to cover the massive new federal spending it would require. "I've laid out the basic principles," she says, yet aside from a broad statement that costs will go up for corporations and the wealthy, but not the middle class, she has proposed nothing that would provide even the most general sense of how she would finance a single-payer system. The "basic principles" she has laid out are vague to the point of total uselessness. 

Warren's defenders, and supporters of Medicare for All, have insisted that the awkwardness of her answer is merited by the disingenuousness of the underlying question. What most people care about, this argument goes, is total costs, not taxes. That's why Warren avoids directly answering the question: What matters, in this view, is that under Medicare for All, total health care costs for the nation and for most families would go down. That's what Bernie Sanders says, in his own way, and that's what Warren is attempting to get across. 

This is a fair defense of Warren in the sense that it accurately captures the heart of Warren's talking point. The problem is that there is good reason to believe that her talking point is wrong, or at the very least debatable. 

Instead of lowering total national health care spending, one estimate found that the Sanders plan—the plan that Warren supports—would increase total health care spending by more than $6 trillion. That figure comes from a 2016 analysis of the plan by the Urban Institute, a reputable liberal think tank. Warren can't simply dismiss this as a right-wing talking point. 

The same goes for another analysis of Medicare for All, by Emory University health policy scholar Kenneth Thorpe. 

Thorpe's estimates of an earlier iteration of the Sanders plan found that more than 70 percent of people who now have private insurance—the majority of Americans with health coverage—would pay more in taxes than they would save. Thorpe also found that the Sanders plan had estimated more annual savings on prescription drugs than the U.S. spends in a year, meaning that prescription drug spending would literally have to be negative.

The Sanders camp revised that figure in response, but the essential features of the plan have stayed largely the same. And Thorpe remains skeptical of the way proponents of Medicare for All have described the plan: "Obviously, all of the 180 million people who have private insurance are not going to pay less. It's impossible to have an 'everybody wins' scenario here," he recently told The Washington Post, later adding: "There's no question it hits the middle class,"

Thorpe isn't some predictable conservative critic. He's not even a longtime liberal skeptic of single-payer: In 2006, he laid out a proposal for a single-payer plan for Bernie Sanders' home state of Vermont. Yet his estimates indicate that, contrary to Elizabeth Warren's promises, health care costs for the middle class would go up. 

Yes, other estimates have found that total spending might go down. But at minimum, it's far from clear what would happen, especially since Warren has provided so few details about what she wants to do. And the idea that taxes would go up by quite a lot is far from a fringe position. As University of Chicago economist Katherine Baicker recently told The Washington Post, "Most of the proposals to move to Medicare-for-all would involve substantial tax increases that would affect most people."

This is what Warren won't say. Instead, she is leaning on a dubious talking point designed to avoid the plain truth that taxes will go up under the plan she supports. She isn't trying to inform the public about the nuances of an academic debate. She isn't being straightforward. She has settled on a response that has been calculated to mislead for political gain. 

In doing so, she has opened herself up to substantive attacks from her rivals, and undermined the core argument of her presidential campaign. Warren has presented herself as a kind of wonk populist whose mastery of policy detail and ability to communicate complex ideas are among her key strengths. Her campaign is structured around the idea that she knows exactly what she's doing—and that, as a result, you can trust her. What Warren made clear at last night's debate, and what she has proven over and over again on the campaign trail, is that only the first part is true. 

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  1. Politicians have business envy. They see business leaders in movies shouting orders — “Get me that report” — “Tell him no and the next offer is less” — and they see movie results, and dynamic feared leaders, and they want that too.

    But that’s not how real businesses work, and even if it were, it’s not fast enough for politicians, who want it all now, so they toss out “broad stroke” plans left and right, and want to be that guy in the White House shouting for reports and negotiating by bluster.

  2. MediCare For All as a slogan is fundamentally dishonest. A program where the same demographic group is paying in and drawing on system cannot work the way MediCare does. A system where private insurance is eliminated or severely curtailed cannot work the way MediCare does, as private insurance is largely subsidizing the MediCare’s payment shortfalls. They all lie about this, Warren’s lies just may be somewhat more blatant.

    1. Domt even dare mention the cost shift from government plans to private plans that occurs as medicare pays 93 cents on the dollar for costs.

      1. 73 cents on the dollar if it’s for a woman.

    2. Why don’t they call it Medicaid for all? Is Medicaid not popular or something? I don’t see anyone advocating VA for all either.

      1. Because the most virulent supporters of MediCare are convinced that it is something they have earned by paying into it. MedicAid is welfare. It is simply marketing, it is not a rational basis.

  3. Elizabeth Warren lies.


  4. Princess Liz of Fauxhicans speaks through forked tongue.

    1. Is she pregnant again?

  5. She is an absolute lying snake, and if she does keep up the push and get the nomination, I hope trump trolls her in every debate on stage and then wins it. That is what the dems deserve if they nominate this clown.

    1. She was absolutely fucking painful to watch on the debate stage last night. She couldn’t answer a single fucking question in any kind of straight manner (to be fair, her opponents were no better, save for maybe Yang and Gabbard on that score). Whoever labeled her “America’s Mother-In-Law” had it right on the money.

      1. Why thank you. But the inspiration for that moniker came from Rich Zeoli (WPHT 1210) who calls her this all the time. It fits perfectly.

      2. America’s Mother-In-Law and America’s Creepy Uncle: the current leaders for the Democratic nomination.

        1. Vs Biff from back to the future, our current President. However this pans out is going to be lame. At least I can write in Dave Barry for 2020.

    2. Trump might be one of the most “beatable” presidents in history. Leave it up to the dishonest and inept Democratic party to show how to blow it completely. Well-deserved, I guess?

  6. I’ve come to appreciate the candidates who say they’ll work to accomplish ____, compared to the candidates who just lie promising essentially free stuff. The candidates promising government goodies, are promising to make you pay for it, and aren’t telling you what it will cost.

    I’m reminded of something David Goldhill (CEO of GSN, lifelong Democrat, and author of “How American Health Care Killed My Father” (you’ll find articles in Reason regarding him) wrote. It turns out people getting their “free” Medicare (ignoring all those taxes to pay for it during their working lives) actually spend a greater share of their income on health care, than seniors did before Medicare existed. That’s what government yields: promises of lower costs, higher costs, and less choice.

    1. I remember reading about that. Don’t remember the details, but the conclusion seemed inescapable — people waste other people’s money, but are incredibly tight and responsible with their own, and get better results because the fewer bucks are better targeted. When it’s other people’s money, it just gets thrown around with no discrimination, no selection, and no concern for even getting results.

      1. The worst possible system is government bureaucrats deciding how to spend citizen A’s money on citizen B, as they are unconcerned with either the quality or the cost of the service.

        1. I have a RIGHT to have the government force other people to pay for my basic needs.(And a few wants, while we’re at it.)


        2. you want to know what’s worse? The inevitability of top-down algorithm-driven care (and death panels by computer!) and rationing. Health care ( as opposed to Healthcare) is to be a deeply personal matter, and we are long past that loss.

        3. They are at work and just want to finish their task list and take a long lunch. Nothing personal. Bureaucracy has its place, but it should be limited, and it shouldn’t make important decisions,

    2. Back when Medicare and Medicaid were passed, the LBJ administration argued that having these programs would actually lower the cost of healthcare for everyone overall, presumably because seniors would be getting annual checkups and preventative healthcare.

      Instead, the cost of healthcare has gone up exponentially, and now takes up about 1/3 of all government spending (Medicare and Medicaid Services cost over $1.4 trillion in FY18). A big reason is because the vast chunk of healthcare spending takes place during the last 2-3 years of a person’s life, as they desperately try to extend their lifespan regardless of the quality of life they actually have.

      At least prior generations were able to face death with some kind of dignity and, for some, the expectation that something better was waiting for them on the other side.

      1. Not the real reason, but your point is well-taken.

  7. Suderman goes where Gillespie fears to tread.

  8. I’ve said this before, but what Bernie and Warren really hope happens- and Warren probably thinks she could force it to happen, is that under “Medicare for All”, employers relieved of their health insurance benefit costs would pass on those “savings” to workers via increased wages. Then the higher taxes we all know would have to happen would leave many workers (if they got raises) with about the same take home pay. I’m not saying it’s realistic – but that is what Bernie and Co. want. As to the $34-40 trillion in the next decade – we will spend it anyway in our current system.

    1. “”employers relieved of their health insurance benefit costs would pass on those “savings” to workers via increased wages.”‘

      Trickle down?

      1. Sure – let’s call it trickle down.

        1. That should kill it for liberals since they don’t believe in it.

      2. Which is all the more ironic given how health insurance started to rise because government mandated wage controls.

    2. Yeah, so you’re saying Bernie and Warren hope something happens that’s completely contradicted by their stated corporate expectations?

      Sounds legit.

      1. Exactly.

    3. Not only will the workers be paying higher taxes, their employers will be too; so I doubt the “savings” will get to our paychecks in the first place.

    4. Except that the higher taxes on employers to pay for Medicare for All will eat up all those savings.

  9. “”What most people care about, this argument goes, is total costs, not taxes. “”

    It’s taxes that have sunk the prospect of universal health care in NY. Generally, people don’t see the total cost and don’t really care as long as someone else pays for it.

  10. Elizabeth Warren is being fundamentally dishonest about Medicare for All. Not just vague. Not just evasive. Not just dodgy. Dishonest.

    This can’t be said enough.

    1. WaPo and an NYU journalism professor thinks asking her how she’ll pay for them are just “gotcha” questions meant to help Republicans.

      …indicating that reality has a conservative bias.

      1. Initially that sounds like sarcasm, but you can look at it as just another way of saying that conservatism is a more effective way of navigating reality than progressivism.

  11. Since the Con Man has run the deficit up over $1 trillion there isn’t the money to pay for this crap – even old Joe acknowledged that.

    1. Our debt was already on an unsustainable path before Trump. Your going to have to blame FDR and Lyndon Johnson for that.

      1. But it is getting worse under Trump and he needs to own it. Just like Obama and Bush jr before him, who didn’t own it either. Clinton balanced the budget for a few years and cut deficits spending, along with a conservative legislature, but he got impeached for chasing around an intern, so what credit do you really get as a President anyhow? The next President, Republican or Democrat, is going to have more deficit spending in 4 years than Clinton did during his entire Presidency (and yes adjusting for inflation) and I am not a big fan of that man, just pointing out that the numbers don’t lie. They will probably spend more than Obama did in 8 years, whomever it is. I bet we will have a 30 trillion dollar debt by 2024. There is no upside for a politician doing the right thing for the future.

    2. So even after this morning you’re top dishonest to go look at deficit projections for 2020 from 2016? The growth in entitlement spending has been known for a decade dumbfuck. Only you seem to be unaware.

      1. Sure entitlement spending is growing. But the Con Man’s shitty tax plan is also a big contributor to the recent deficit increase. It was supposed to boost GDP but it failed – like all his ideas have.

        1. It was supposed to reduce taxes for most Americans, and it has. The economy, minus parts affected by the trade wars, have been humming along since.

          We should cut spending AND cut taxes. “Sure entitlement spending is growing but tax cuts doesn’t help!” only demonstrates deflection or ignorance of the fact that spending the primary driver of deficit.

    3. Wow, where was this version of the Buttplug in today’s Reason Roundup? This is the one I like to see — the one who responds to any criticism of a Democrat by reminding us that everything is actually the Republicans’ fault.


  12. Well, isn’t she just learning from Obama and how he pushed the ACA? It was dishonest and I even seem to recall some sleaze ball guy named Jonathan Gruber admitting as much.

    Plus, this is a woman who thought herself an Indian and likely leveraged that to get into positions FFS. Dishonesty is what she does.

  13. Warren’s fundamental dishonesty doesn’t lie in refusing to say how much free healthcare is going to cost us, it lies in refusing to admit that it just doesn’t matter how much it costs because we’re going to get it anyway regardless of the cost. Central planning schemes are always sold on the premise that it’s going to be cheaper or better or more egalitarian or whatever when, in reality, central planning is simply a matter of “your job is to do as your told and my job is to do the telling”. Warren doesn’t care if free healthcare “works”, as long as she gets to be in charge of it and boss everybody around, it works just fine for her. Warren is just a slightly less evil version of Hillary, a bitter, mean, nasty old woman eternally pissed off that we refuse to acknowledge that we would all be so much better off if she were running our lives. The maddening part of it is that she knows full well that we all know we would be better off with her running our lives, but we refuse to admit that we know this just to piss her off.

  14. “Medicare for all” is starting to sound like the “one ring to rule them all”. First grab total control of medical care in the country. When that flops, since the problem was obviously just not enough control of everything, go whole-hog, and grab total control of the entire economy. When that fails, total control of everything in people’s lives.

    1. “”When that fails, total control of everything in people’s lives.””

      Considering some of the biggest costs are due to people with chronic issues that failed to take care of them before it becomes a bigger issue. This was an argument that a MD was telling me when he was trying to convince me that all health care is public health.

      So expect what you eat, and what you do to become a target of the medical nanny state

      1. See, that always seemed to be me to be an excellent argument against public funding for healthcare. Different strokes, I guess.

        1. Exactly. I fully support your right to turn yourself into a diabetic fatass, just don’t expect me to foot the bill for your care after you’ve done it.

        2. Doctors are political and economic idiots.

    2. Wraiths don’t need much healthcare.

  15. Just a case of Red Herring tossing out red herrings.

  16. Just for the record, actual medicare for all would not be that bad.

    It would mean everyone has to pay premiums for 30 or 40 years before getting any benefits, like payroll taxes now.
    And it only covers 80% of non-hospital expenses, with NO annual or lifetime cap.
    There is an annual deductible of $185.
    And it does not cover ANY drugs at all.
    And you still have to pay premiums when you start to get actual medical care, currently around $135/mo. for most folks. (premiums increase as you enter the nasty rich range)
    You only get to choose your doctor from those who accept Medicare, a vanishing breed.

    So basically, if Medicare were offered by a private insurer, the feds would call it a piss poor plan and not allow it on the exchanges.

    1. Just for the record, actual medicare for all would not be that bad.

      Except that they can’t deliver it. All socialized medicine ends up getting rationed by congestion.


    2. payroll taxes

      This is a misnomer. Not for the employer. An employer has a payroll, and when it’s taxed that’s a payroll tax. An employee does not have a payroll. What is taxed is the employee’s income. For the employee FICA taxes are income taxes.

  17. Can anyone imagine how quickly the crowd at a Sanders or Warren rally would scatter if their candidate started to propose a tax structure similar to the ones in the countries they’re pretending to want to emulate?

    No estate/inheritance tax
    High national VAT/Sales tax (extrememly “regressive”)
    No high-net worth/wealth tax (these have been tried and failed in places like Sweden)
    No financial transaction tax (also tried and failed)
    Top marginal income tax rate cutting in well below the threshold for “middle class” in much of the country.

    Or even if they were willing to be honest about the taxes that would be needed to pay for just their single-payer plans; raising the current “Medicare” payroll tax from under 4% to over 20% would be the minimum.

    1. When I suggest to my leftist friends that we would have to tax like Europe to get their levels of social welfare spending, they all say that would be fine. When I tell them that means that their income taxes will go up 25-30% and everything they buy will cost 15-20% more, their tune changes very quickly.

      1. I doubt it. I’m quite sure they just tell you you’re wrong. I know that’s what happens to me.

        1. They do that too, and I tell them to look it up.

  18. I’m waiting for someone to ask her, Bernie et. al. If Medicare for all includes them. Or will they make themselves exempt as they did under Obamacare?
    I believe this question could shut down the entire narrative.

  19. The framing is disingenuous and she is correct to make it about costs. “Taxes have cooties” is Republican bullshit that has turned this country into a shithole with a large military and trillion-dollar deficits. I realize it is the core of you people’s worldview.

    She doesn’t want to be on tape saying she’ll raise taxes on the middle class. She thinks a non-answer will be less damaging than that. It’s that simple.

    But it’s not her fault if some voters think that paying double what they have to for health insurance costs is preferable to a tax increase for a more efficient system.

    Stop destroying all that is good in the world and she wouldn’t have to hedge.

    1. Tony, you mendacious brain-dead leftard twat. The federal government has been setting new records for taxes extorted from us every year for as long as I can remember. There is no revenue problem. There is a SPENDING problem.


      1. If you want to eliminate most of the modern state, I can see why you’d think that. But there is a revenue problem, assuming you want to keep current programs in place. All the bullshit you believe about how cutting tax rates magically doesn’t reduce income is… bullshit. Misleading graphs, horseshit doubletalk.

        1. Tony, you realize that if you look at a graph of the total revenues the federal government has taken in every year since, say, post-WWII as a percentage of GDP – it’s nearly flat. Right around 17-18% of total GDP, every single year that doesn’t have a serious recession. Regardless of how the tax rates are set, what gets taxed and what doesn’t, it hasn’t really budged at all in over 70 years. It’s called Hauser’s law.

          So when we’re spending ~20-22% of total GDP every year, the problem is indeed spending. The blue team has this fantasy that they can get more revenue by raising tax rates and introducing new taxes, but without any real effort to explain how they’d subvert this reality. The red team seems to think they can just finance deficit spending forever, so they’re not particularly better.

          The simple fact is that this level of spending in the US is not sustainable, and will eventually lead to a debt crisis unless we permanently reduce our spending below the amount that history suggests we can carry. If you believe you have a method of generating more revenue than that through taxes in the US, submit it to a peer reviewed economics journal and collect your Nobel prize.

          1. Yep. Only twice since the end of World War II has tax revenues as a percentage of GDP exceeded 20 percent for any year: 1945 and 1999, both oddball years economically. And even then it was just slightly above 20 percent.

          2. That is literally precisely the exact bullshit I was referring to. The argument amounts to “if you zoom out enough, the revenue line is practically flat looking!” Fun with misleading graphs!

            A couple percentage point fluctuations represents buttloads of money, and every time tax rates are cut, it goes down. Trump’s deficits (Son of Bush Deficits), didn’t come out of nowhere.

    2. She is definitely lying, Tony.

      She admits she supports Bernie’s plan which doesn’t spell out how much Medicare taxes would increase. Therefore she doesn’t know. And only EMPLOYEES pay Medicare taxes (some of it is collected by the employer for tax reasons) and those employees would be on the hook for 150 million others (net 90 million after current Medicare recipients).

    3. A few things. This is a libertarian site, so yes, taxes do have cooties here.

      She is dishonest as fuck, yet again. She lied about being a woman of color to advance her career (dont know how the dems seem to let her get away with that). She lied about “getting fired” for being pregnant when in fact she turned down the job. And she is being “dishonest” about this as well.

      It’s always hilarious how the progressives are so OK with paying for things with other’s money and never want to put in any of their own for what they want. “The wealthy will pay for this, not the middle class”… who will be getting a massive benefit from it for free. Not only is it a lie, but it’s a bad premise. If medicare for all is a wonderful great thing, the middle class that will be getting health care should be happy to pay for it. But no, they insist “the wealthy” foot their bill. She knows she cant get the cash for it through taxing the wealthy, corporations, or adding a wealth tax on net worth, and she is deliberately lying about how she plans to pay for it (with an actual middle class tax raise). Until she gets a set and admits she is planning on doing this, which she would have to if it’s going to work, she is lying no matter how you sugar coat it.

      And yes the massive military is a huge expenditure that needs to be cut. You know what else is huge (bigger)? Entitlements that are ALREADY in place that we don’t even have the ability to pay for now.

      “But it’s not her fault if some voters think that paying double what they have to for health insurance costs is preferable to a tax increase for a more efficient system.”

      If you think the govt run health care will be more efficient and lower costs…well you aren’t paying attention to how the govt runs basically any program. Remember that choo-choo they tried to build in cali? The one that cost many fold the amount a private company could do it for, went far over budget, over time, and had to be abandoned because they were so behind in every aspect of building it? That is the govt “efficiently getting things done”

      They spend more, they get less done, people have more incentive to just drag their asses and are lazy as all fuck. This is literally the VA health care system right now. I would pay twice as much any day to keep my current insurance and not be subjected to the govts shitty effort at wasting my money. People tend to fly here to spend extra money to have their surgeries done. They fly here FROM countries that have socialized medicine, and are willing to spend big bucks for the privilege. That says something.

      1. People talk about ‘massive’ military spending when the military spending is less than 20 percent of the budget. Back in JFK’s day, it was above 50 percent.

    4. “Taxes have cooties” is Republican bullshit.

      It’s usually bullshit to people who want to keep the money they earned. Do you have a job? How much less money do you want to bring home?

      As former Mayor Bloomberg once said, the only good taxes are the ones that tax the other guy.

      Consider how many on the left thinks corporations, not them personally will be paying for the programs.

    5. “he framing is disingenuous and she is correct to make it about costs. “Taxes have cooties” is Republican bullshit that has turned this country into a shithole with a large military and trillion-dollar deficits. I realize it is the core of you people’s worldview.”

      Tony, how much extra do you volunteer to pay the government? You’re free to pay MORE than you owe, you know.

    6. Umm…you do realize this is considered a libertarian magazine and website..? Libertarianism is philosophically opposed to government control, and promotes the individual as the best (and only valid) arbiter of what is best for each person. Hence, even Medicare as it is now is anathema to libertarians. Are you here just to…what, exactly? Argue for collectivism? If so, you are failing. Just wanna troll? Why, you really have nothing better to do? You are utterly unconvincing as far as talking anyone out of being libertarian here, so WTF?

      1. I am fully aware that being a libertarian means you’d rather pay $100 for healthcare and $20 in taxes than $50 for healthcare and $25 in taxes.

        That’s but the tip of the iceberg of its irrationality, though.

      2. JoeB: Hence, even Medicare as it is now is anathema to libertarians.

        Right! Because Medicare works. And it makes people very happy with their health insurance, and with the medical care they get. And if there is anything a libertarian cannot stand, it is a successful, popular government program.

        That animus against government success explains essentially all the complaining about Warren on this thread. It comes from fear that a government program Warren advocates would work, and make people happy.

        Too bad it can’t also explain the baseless assertions and outright lies from those attacking her. Those, you have to put down to character flaws which render some folks susceptible to vulgar libertarianism in the first place.

  20. Lieawatha lies some more, film at 11.


  21. Medicare for all is a wonderful idea for the following reasons.
    First, taxes on the peasants will have to be raised to pay for this long overdue idea. This will result in more unemployment and dependency on The State.
    Secondly, it will increase the debt sending this capitalist hell hole into bankruptcy which in turn will finally launch the much anticipated and coveted Glorious People’s Revolution.
    Thirdly, it will finally, finally eliminate the idea of freedom of choice when it comes to choosing your healthcare needs and force the unenlightened masses into socialized medicine. This way, as Saint Lenin quite correctly stated, the people will be enslaved properly because they will have no other place to go for their healthcare needs.
    Lastly, as history has shown so many times, socialized medicine will produce new cures and wonders the evil capitalist system of healthcare never was able to do because, as we all know, healthcare bureaucrats are much better scientists and doctors than anything any capitalist system can produce.
    So let us all embrace Medicare for all for the sake of our socialist revolution and the wonderful people who take the time and trouble to oppress us.

  22. This article Ian wrong. To say that she is “fundamentally dishonest” would imply that there is no combination of income taxes, payroll taxes, and health care benefits that would give affordable universal coverage. But the Heath care systems in every other day developed country shows that this is can work. It may be true that her specific proposal may not work, but to say that it can not work at all is quite false. The studies quoted make assumptions about what a tax rate would be, then runs the numbers. So ya, if you assume that taxes will rise, then your results will show them rising.

    1. She isn’t suggesting that there is some level of federal healthcare that would not increase middle class taxes. She is saying that Bernie’s medicare for all plan, which covers absolutely everything at absolutely no cost to the user, would not raise costs for anyone other than the (((wealthy))) or (((big corporations))).

      Name one other country that offers free medical, dental and vision coverage with no co-pays. Within that group of zero, identify the countries that do not have middle class tax rates in the neighborhood of the Danes (i.e. a 25% VAT and a 60% top income tax rate that starts at 1.2 times average household income).

    2. affordable universal coverage. But the Heath care systems in every other day developed country shows that this is can work.

      France, Germany, Switzerland, etc. may claim “universal coverage” but it’s really through a mixed system (just like the USA) of private insurers and government programs. Costs there are also on a seemingly endless upward slope.

      And if you look at this graph:×540.png

      it shows the US beating every other country (except Norway) in health care expenditures by the government. If it were all made “public” it would just make the whole bar blue and it would not decrease.

      1. Our system is very inefficient. Single payer would help reduce the waste.

        1. Why would a single payer have any effect on waste at all? Waste is most pronounced the further removed the people engaged in an activity are from those who are paying for it.

        2. “Our system is very inefficient. Single payer would help reduce the waste.”

          Because nothing is more efficient than the government.

          1. Many other countries have demonstrated that government run systems are more efficient. If they can do it, we can do it. Do you want to argue that the US Gov is fundamentally less functional then the rest of the developed world?

            1. Their systems are cheaper as a percentage of GDP. It’s not hard to be cheaper if you ration care. Whether it’s more efficient is a subjective question, not an objective one.

              And again, most other developed countries have co-pays and no coverage for things like dental or vision care. Bernie and Liz want it completely free with zero co-pay.

              1. Their systems are cheaper as a percentage of GDP. It’s not hard to be cheaper if you ration care.

                ^ This. If we changed nothing about our current system other than outlawing any procedure that wouldn’t be covered by England’s NHS, we would see a substantial reduction in healthcare spending.

            2. Many other countries have demonstrated that single payer systems can reduce health care costs by drastically reducing the availability of health care. The delusion that we can make this work where others failed is pretty much the definition of ‘American Exceptionalism’, which the Left tends to denounce loudly whenever it doesn’t serve their hunger for more control.

              My opposition to single payer isn’t ideological in nature. It’s a simple matter of ‘it’s been tried. It doesn’t work. Can we do something else, please?’

          2. damikesc, take a look at the marketing scam the pharmaceutical companies run for biologic medicines—which have proved a spectacular success, medically and commercially. It is not a mistake to call them miracle drugs, especially for people with severe auto-immune arthritis, which can be devastating.

            The companies price the meds at a level which maybe the top 1% of earners could afford. It is such a high price that the meds probably could not be successful, with such a small market. Not even the co-pays are remotely feasible for most patients. But it does get the base price super-high, which is what the companies want.

            Then the companies rig the system. If you need the med, but can’t afford even the co-pay (very few can afford the co-pay), you apply to the company. They refund almost 100% of your co-pay. Then the company bills the massively inflated balance to private health insurance companies.

            The result? Even folks with psoriatic arthritis—which can be serious, or can amount to an almost insignificant roughening of skin on an elbow, get to use medicine which the industry bills at a price of ~ $80,000 a year, which the insurance industry then spreads around to everyone with private insurance.

            Because that is so repugnant a marketing scam, Medicare will not buy those drugs, no matter how much the patients need them. Whatever you may think of that as policy, it is a hell of a lot more efficient than what the private sector is doing.

        3. Do you mean waste as in obtaining an MRI in less than six months? Or, do you mean waste as in providing life-saving care to those over 80 yrs old? Or, do you mean waste as in obtaining routing cataract surgery if your best-corrected vision is better than 20/200?
          I have found that folks who describe the current system as “inefficient” are of the opinion that the money you spend on your own health care is more efficiently spent by redirection into a public system controlled by bureaucrats. Hence, the growth of the State is very efficiently financed.

        4. Yes, because spending other people’s money always works so well and is so frugal.

      2. France, Germany, Switzerland, etc. may claim “universal coverage” but it’s really through a mixed system (just like the USA) of private insurers and government programs. Costs there are also on a seemingly endless upward slope.

        And the very largest of those countries, Germany, has about a quarter of the US’ population, and is small enough geographically that you don’t really have the kind of cost-of-living disparities that you have when you compare, say, Nowhere OK (a real place) and SF CA. It’s a similar problem to the ‘national minimum wage’ problem – healthcare dollars are going to go a lot farther in OK than they do in CA.

        It’s like asking Portugal to pay into the German healthcare system.

        And this is why “other developed countries do it” is not a good argument. This would be analogous to CA or NY having state-run healthcare systems. What the currents Dems are proposing would be analogous to an EU healthcare system, which I don’t believe anyone has ever proposed.

        1. China, Russia, Canada and Australia have universal coverage, and they all have large countries with a wide range of cost-of-living disparities. If they can do it, we can do it. Lets put some of this American exceptionalism to the test.

          1. Canada = total population of about 37M, less than the state of California.

            Australia = total population of about 25.5M, less than the state of Texas.

            Pardon my skepticism regarding claims made by China and Russia regarding their “universal” coverage.

            Go experiment on someone else’s healthcare.

    3. Yes, it could work in theory if we taxed the way Europe does. However, proposing the massive middle class tax increase to bring our tax system into line with that of Europe would be political suicide. How would you feel about a candidate proposing to raise your income taxes by 25% and your sales taxes by 20%?

      1. Yes, it could work in theory if we taxed the way Europe does.

        It still wouldn’t though.

      2. Increased payroll taxes to offset the savings employers would have not paying for insurance. That would pay for it. And if done right would still have savings.

        1. So you would take the same amount of money that is going to private insurers and give it the government, and you think that the government is going to achieve more with that money than the private insurers?

          Do you have anything you could point to that might lead us to believe the government would suddenly run this program differently than everything else it has ever done?

          1. Many other countries have demonstrated that government run systems are more efficient. If they can do it, we can do it. Do you want to argue that the US Gov is fundamentally less functional then the rest of the developed world?

            1. Many other countries have demonstrated that government run systems are more efficient.

              How do factor their rationing of care into that? Are you comparing cost-per-comparable-procedure or are you comparing total spending?

            2. “Many other countries have demonstrated that government run systems are more efficient.”

            3. Name one such country. You’re full of shit.

              1. Canada. The UK. All of continental Europe. Australia. All of developed Asia.

        2. “Increased payroll taxes to offset the savings employers would have not paying for insurance. That would pay for it.”

      3. No. Based on what has been seen in Europe, it doesn’t work even when ones taxes like Europe. Hell, in Britain they set up the National Health at the end of WWII, and by the mid 1950’s the (lifelong Socialist) cartoonist Giles was already making fun of it.

    4. “…But the Heath care systems in every other day developed country shows that this is can work…”

      1. The thing is, he believes the governments’ reports on themselves.

  23. “there is no combination of (LOWER) income taxes, payroll taxes, and health care benefits that would give affordable universal coverage.”

    I fixed that statement with one word.

  24. “On Medicare for All, Elizabeth Warren Is Fundamentally Dishonest”

    And why should Medicare For All be different?

  25. Yet another Reason story about Warren’s completely predictable dodge on how she’d fund a plan that’s unlikely to become law in any administration.

    You really could just copy and paste, at this point.

    1. How silly for anybody to ask questions about the cornerstone of her campaign.

      I mean, sure. she’s pushed as the “ideas” candidate — but it’s wrong to ask for any details.

  26. Princess Liz of Fauxhicans speaks through forked tongue.
    کابل شبکه

  27. So…….. Let me get this straight.. Democrats are lobbying to increase the deficit by $3.4T annually (ALMOST 4x the current rate) … but somehow Trumps under $1T is the end of civilization as we know it??!?!?!?!?? WT??

    I know FOR SURE that 4-Times my current tax rate would put me at about NEGATIVE -$20/hr wage.. Is that what they meant when they were lobbying for $15/hr minimum wage.. Workers pay them $15/hr that they work or what?

    And there is nothing rich about me. I make less than average and still figure JUST INCOME taxes cost me more than all my living expenses combined Rent, Phone, TV, etc.. etc…

    How MUCH is enough for the Democrats????

    1. “How MUCH is enough for the Democrats????”

      How much do you have?

      1. Then add on some more.

    2. No sane tax scheme will burden anyone.

      As it stands, we don’t have a sane tax scheme, but the people who bear the burden are people like you and millions of others who vote for politicians who place a tax burden upon them while relieving it of zillionaires and corporations. Those decades of investment in gutting the income tax wasn’t for you. I’m sure you’ve noticed by now. As middle class people, we get to pay for civilization because we don’t have access to the wealth-favoring tax cheats that people with wealth do. We are subsidizing them. Be angry about that. Nobody wants to raise your expenses at all. Except Republicans.

      1. “As middle class people, we get to pay for civilization because we don’t have access to the wealth-favoring tax cheats that people with wealth do.”

        This is precisely the bullshit warren and sanders spew to their peons that want free shit, and are willing to believe this magical thinking. The “zillionaires” and wealthy are financing the middle class and their entitlements. If you are “middle class” you pay not that much in taxes, the marginal rate is pretty damn low for them. If you are wealthy, even with all the loop holes in the world, you pay a fuckton of taxes. This crap thinking that “oh they have magical lawyers and tax attorneys that make it so they pay nothing” is just nonsense. And even if they can shrink their overall rate down, the sheer amount they are paying is a lot more than the middle class. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes every year, from individual workers. That’s fair to you people? How much did you pay in taxes last year?

        1. You don’t think that worrying about the tax burden of a person who can–even after taxes–afford 10 houses and 3 yachts is a bit disproportionate compared to the problem of children being malnourished or their parents being unable to access healthcare?

          Again, they invested in these politics. It wasn’t for your benefit. You’re just here to repeat their talking points and vote for their tax breaks by proxy of culture war bullshit.

          1. There are a lot of people in between the middle class and multi yacht billionaires that are getting taxed too much. The rates are already too high. I don’t want to pay any more than where they are at now

            The biggest pot of money is raising taxes on the middle class, where there are more people and the rates are currently low, comparatively. There arent enough zillionaires to fund XYZ govt project because they always spend more

            1. Shotgun, nope. The biggest pot of money is the wealth—not the incomes—of the wealthiest Americans. The so-called middle class is tapped out, living paycheck to paycheck. If government needs money, it has to get it from people who have money. That is no longer America’s middle class.

              To illustrate how mistaken the constantly repeated allegation is that there isn’t enough money among the wealthy to do everything needed, go ahead and look at just the smaller pot the wealthy have—their incomes. For instance, because of exemptions from Social Security the wealthy can claim—from the cap, and also from income types not taxed for Social Security—it is easy to show that more than half the income in the U.S. escapes Social Security taxation. That while right wingers, and especially the wealthy, howl that Social Security is verging on bankruptcy.

              For starters, tax the wealthy for every dollar they earn, on the same terms that ordinary Americans are taxed. Use that money to make Social Security and Medicare solvent, and long-term secure. Then, for more ambitious projects, tax their wealth.

              1. Your plan will cause a decline in capital investment in which massive losses or gains can accrue and risk is king. Labor for income is very low risk and perfect for the risk averse. Try being a venture capitalist for a minute or two. Money raised in your plan would be by government by default and cause an even higher need for tax revenue.

      2. As middle class people, we get to pay for civilization

        The US middle class pays less than it consumes in taxes. And it pays far, far less than the middle class in other Western nations. To balance the budget and match other “civilizations”, average middle class taxes in the US would have to go from 25% to 35%, together with a national sales tax.

        The US is full of privileged, ignorant, whiny jerks like you who already live in absurd luxury (by world standards) but still demand a gold-plated version of the European social welfare state and delude themselves into thinking that they can make “the rich” pay for it (in practice, “the rich” means simply other wage earners who make more money than you).

        1. Nobody is paying enough in taxes. That’s why we have a trillion dollar deficit.

          1. People in the top 20% are paying more than they receive in services.

            The 20% below that break even.

            It’s the bottom 60% that are responsible for the deficit.

            1. I agree that Trump, possibly the poorest person on the planet, is responsible for the deficit.

      3. Holy crap Tony; Where do you get such contradictive ideas from —

        1) “Nobody wants to raise your expenses at all. Except Republicans.”
        The GOP and Trump ARE the sole owners of the latest tax cuts.

        2) “relieving it of zillionaires and corporations”
        Just have to love how “Tarriff’s are Taxes on poor people” …. but … somehow corporate tax cuts are somehow non-related..

        3) “As middle class people, we get to pay for civilization because we don’t have access to the wealth-favoring tax cheats that people with wealth do.”
        You have a point on this one… “Cheats” shouldn’t exist… period….
        Stealing the wealth fairly created by “zillion-ares” is a cheat. Subsidizing them and (hut hum… Obama BAIL-OUT) is “cheating”. Subsidizing trade and import shipping is “cheating”.

        Lets just sum that up — Socialism is “cheating”. If no one is allowed to cheat then “The People” WILLINGLY gave that “zillion-are” his wealth because they wanted something that “zillion-are” has created. That is FAIR.

        1. And…
          1) Zillion-ares don’t exist.
          2) You as well as most of the left and people with envy issues don’t seem to acknowledge that most of these super rich people (besides Soro’s and others with politically gained riches) has a matching business responsibility (lien) on that holding of wealth.

          Do you not realize how fast Bill Gates would go bankrupt if Microsoft sales were to go to $0?

          2019 Bill Gates net worth is $100.6 Billion. Microsoft has 144K employees. If each averages $100k/yr that’s a whole whopping 6-years JUST to keep the employees paychecks from over-drafting. Then consider operational costs (like power, machinery, contracts) which usually adds up to more than just payroll. You’ve got a supposed “unfair wealthy” person who with a drop of the market would go bankrupt in under a year and cause thousands of working employees to get BAD CHECKS for their work.

  28. The liberals seem to believe that healthcare cost will go down under medicare because (1) if everyone got free healthcare and received free checkups and preventative care, less people will get seriously sick later and cost us (2) the government pays for you, so your own healthcare costs go down.

    This obviously doesn’t make sense. People get sick and die in government managed healthcare all the time. Given that administrative cost represents a chunk of the healthcare costs, hiring a gazillion more doctors, nurses and office workers may very well cost us more. And we ain’t gonna micromanage physician pay, or anyone’s pay.

    And it’s logistically impossible for hospitals to handle every single one of the people in their state or cities to come once or twice every year for checkup, or anytime they think some thing’s wrong with them and read scary things on Web MD. Nothing would ever get done. There are 4 million people in LA, only the delusional will believe the hospitals there are equipped to deliver on “medicare for all” (NOT single payer).

    As for the second point, well, nothing in life is free.

    1. Having lived in a country that effectively has M4A, I can tell you what’s going to happen: it will take weeks or months to get an appointment, if you can’t make it, you’re SOL, and for most problems, they just tell you to suck it up. Once you’re past taxpaying age, they don’t give a f*ck anymore about helping you. In a way, that does translate into cost savings.

  29. You have to work and use the computer and internet, and if you can do that and dedicate some time each day then you can do this with no problem.
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  30. We already spend around $3.5 trillion every year on healthcare in this country so what is so expensive about Warren’s plan?

    1. Its a question of allocation. If the new system were set up like existing Medicare (it won’t be) there world be a “premium” for each participant, the medicare tax rate will climb to about a combined 15% paid half by the employee and half by the employer and the amount of money paid from the general fund will increase greatly. The costs and benefits would fall unevenly on people depending on how they get their health insurance. Public employees who generally have pretty good system may come out worse (if they’re Covered by the new system) having to pay an additional tax, Government agencies may actually come out better losing the health insurance costs but paying additional taxes. Unions with good benefits would generally come out worse members paying more in taxes some private sector employees may come out better or worse depending on what their actual benefits are. People on medicaid won’t see much change but the working poor may well come out worse getting better health insurance but paying more in taxes.

    2. And… It was $100B (adjusted for inflation) before SOCIALISM came to the healthcare industry. Whats so applauding is the idiotic idea that more SOCIALISM in the industry isn’t going to just make it worse like it has continued to do for the last century (as-if the latest Obamacare didn’t prove that YET AGAIN!).

      1. Oh, I get it — If I stand on my head and flip the view of reality upside down — Now it becomes the “[[Affordable]] Healthcare” Act.

  31. Government can’t even get the Post Office right. And they are going to bail out something as complex as health care? You have to over-charge the majority who don’t use health care that often to pay for the minority which uses it all the time. Its that simple. Talk about inequality, liberals. I don’t hear you bitching about that.

    1. ^^ lol.. So well said! Yet a perfect example of why big communistic systems like the USPS doesn’t work. Communism has no means of filtering the competent from the incompetent but instead becomes a big “popularity” contest and s#%$t-show. Which today with our 120+ federal agencies is exactly what we are getting from DC; a s#%$t-show.

  32. Government can’t even get the Post Office right. And they are going to bail out something as complex as health care? You have to over-charge the majority who don’t use health care that often to pay for the minority which uses it all the time. It’s that simple. Talk about inequality, liberals. I don’t hear you bitching about that.

  33. She can redefine Middle Class as a family of 4 earning $25K or less. Problem Solved!!!

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  35. Just remember as it stands now the health care system is costing 4 trillion/ year.

    Unfortunately which payment scheme is better is like rearranging the chairs on the Titanic. The big issue is there is NOTHING free market about he supply of health services or medicines.

    Had to pay out of pocket for some medical service and there is NO PRICE TRANSPARENCY WHATSOEVER. Just FORGET about price shopping over the phone since few doctors will give it. After investing in four appointments and paying fees, I got four price quotes after great effort. In Germany i hear that all prices for procedures ARE POSTED PER LAW. Good luck getting such a law here passes with the physician lobby.

    And the larger issue is the tight control of physicians where many who want to perform these services are not allowed. Milton Friedman said we should get rid of licensing of physicians. Despite many Americans competing with cheap foreign workers, there is little completion in medical services they consume unless you travel overseas. Also medication monopolies and cross- deals in big pharma reduce the free market for medicines.

    It’s really the EXORBITANT PRICES from lack of competition that’s the real issue. EITHER the field is radically DEREGULATED (not saying this is the best option) OR regulations are created to COUNTERACT the power of the medical monopolies that are driving the health care system to unaffordability.

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