So Elizabeth Warren, she of the many “I’ve got a plan for that” memes, is all in on Medicare for All, leading to consternation among her competitors and incredulity among her detractors. Or is she? She’s not abandoning the plan, but the latest version of it wouldn’t see M4A becoming a reality until well into her first term as president. Does this mean that she’s hedging? Perish the thought! She’s just being, you know… cautious.

Elizabeth Warren pushed back against critics of her newly-released plan to phase in implementation of a single-payer health care system, insisting Saturday that she is “fully committed” to Medicare for All and that she plans to first build on existing health care programs because “people need help right now.”

“My commitment to Medicare for All is all the way,” Warren told reporters, responding to critics who’ve questioned the timing behind the release of her implementation plan.

On Friday, the Massachusetts Democrat released a plan outlining how she would transition to a full Medicare for All program, first by using executive action to bring down drug and health care prices and by pushing Congress to pass a bill giving Americans the option to buy in to an expanded government-run Medicare plan. Warren says she’ll then work with Congress to pass pieces of a universal coverage proposal more gradually, with the whole thing being ready “no later than” her third year in office.

This is sounding suspiciously like the sort of strategy that’s being proposed by many of the other Democratic hopefuls. As soon as they get into office, they’ll take “immediate action” to implement their policies by signing a raft of executive orders. Do you know who that sounds like? Donald Trump. And Barack Obama. And pretty much every other president in the modern era.

Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I thought jamming through constitutionally dubious rules via executive order was a bad thing. They’ve all been complaining about Trump’s executive orders. (Of course, the President complained about Obama’s also, and so on, and so on.) Or maybe it’s only bad if a Republican does it.

But Warren’s plans for such orders are particularly toxic in a free capitalist society. It’s bad enough when Congress or state and municipal legislatures pass laws telling businesses how they should operate, what they can charge for goods and services or how much they must pay their workers. It unbalances the system and generally leads to job losses and closures. But if a single person can sign a piece of paper and dictate how much anyone can charge for medicine (or anything else for that matter), chaos is on the way. That’s not to say that drug prices aren’t outrageous and a solution needs to be found, but to have Warren do it via executive order can’t possibly end well.

As far as holding off on M4A until her third year in office, this is likely just a case of Warren giving a nod to reality without coming out and saying it. That sort of massive reimagining of the nation’s health insurance and healthcare structure can’t possibly be done by an EO. She’s going to need Congress to pass something that massive, and given the broad unpopularity of any plan that eliminates private insurance, the votes won’t exist to do this.

In other words, her M4A scheme is a pipe dream, but in the event that she’s somehow elected, she doesn’t want to be held accountable for failing to deliver until well into her term. And then she can take a page from all the other presidents’ playbooks and simply blame Congress for their inaction on the project. Of course, if the nation puts this socialist in office and gives the Senate back to her party, the economy will likely have already tanked so badly that nobody will notice that they don’t have “free” Medicare coverage. They’ll be too busy trying to make sure they don’t lose their homes.