This is a developing story.
Topline: Responding to pressure from critics and Democratic rivals, Senator Elizabeth Warren outlined her plan to fund “Medicare For All” without raising taxes on the middle class, instead calling for tax increases on businesses and billionaires to provide free health coverage for all Americans.
- Warren released her plan on Friday, which would cost the country “just under” $52 trillion over a decade and include $20.5 trillion in new federal spending.
- Under Warren’s new proposal, employer-sponsored health insurance would be completely eliminated in favor of free government health coverage for all Americans.
- The ambitious plan would shift the burden of paying for widespread healthcare to states, employers, large businesses, Wall Street and wealthy billionaires.
- Warren’s proposal differs from that of Senator Bernie Sanders, who has said that it would be necessary to raise new taxes on the middle class in order to finance widespread free health care.
- Warren would use a mix of sources to pay for the $20.5 trillion in spending and raise new money: A new employer Medicare contribution, scrapping private insurers, reducing drug spending, a new tax on financial transactions like stock trades, cutting $800 billion in military spending and new taxes on “the financial sector, large corporations, and the top 1% of individuals”
- The Democratic 2020 hopeful also expanded on her proposed wealth tax, saying that billionaires would pay six cents on each dollar of net worth above $1 billion (6%, up from her earlier proposal of 3%).
Key background: Warren has risen steadily in the polls in recent months, now challenging former Vice President Joe Biden atop the crowded 2020 Democratic primary field. Warren had repeatedly been pressed by top rivals to provide further details of how she’d pay for her healthcare plan, and is now finally offering details about how to implement the monumental program without taking a chunk out of middle-class salaries.
Crucial quote: “We don’t need to raise taxes on the middle class by one penny to finance Medicare for All,” Warren wrote in a Medium post detailing her plan on Friday.