By backing Sanders, Warren has adopted the extreme position that the government has to kick 180 million people off of their private healthcare plans to put then on a single comprehensive government plan, and effectively eliminate private insurance — all within four years. This is such a radical position that it goes further than socialist Canada, where two-thirds of the public has private insurance offering benefits that aren’t on the government plan, including dental, vision, and prescription drugs — all of which promise to be covered by the Sanders plan Warren has endorsed.
Even liberal economist Paul Krugman was left scratching his head. “I found last night’s debate bitterly disappointing,” he tweeted. “I had hoped that Warren would use the occasion to start climbing out of the hole she’s stumbled into on health care. Instead she dug it deeper.”
Warren also dishonestly dodged questions about whether the $32 trillion healthcare plan would require raising middle class taxes — something that Sanders, the author of the bill, has even acknowledged. Instead, Warren said, “So giant corporations and billionaires are going to pay more. Middle-class families are going to pay less out of pocket for their health care.”
Such populist statements don’t address the inevitable policy tradeoffs. Other countries that have national healthcare systems place greater tax burdens on the middle class, often in the form of value added taxes. She could make the argument that they’d be paying more in taxes, but that will be offset by money they’d be saving on healthcare. But the idea that only billionaires and corporations are going to pay more is not a serious argument.