Biden: Warren Will 'Raise People's Taxes' to Pay for Medicare for All

Accuses Warren of not being 'straightforward'

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September 23, 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden said on Monday that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) would "raise people's taxes" if she became president and managed to implement her proposal for Medicare for All.

Biden criticized Warren for not being "straightforward" in her support for universal health care. He said that Warren would not be able to beat President Donald Trump in 2020 if she could not "level" with audiences about the details of her plans.

"Let's at least acknowledge, tell Elizabeth to tell [us] that it's gonna cost a lot of money," he said at a rally. "And she's gonna raise people's taxes doing it. And what are we going to do in the middle of a recession, if we end up there?"

Warren has come under fire from her 2020 Democratic opponents for her reticence about whether or not she would raise taxes on the middle class to pay for universal health care.

South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg criticized Warren earlier in September, calling the Massachusetts senator "extremely evasive" on health care, adding that she should be able to defend her plan—which fellow supporter Sen. Bernie Sanders (I. Vt.) has admitted will raise taxes—in a "straightforward" way.

"I think it's puzzling that when everybody knows the answer to that question of whether her plan and Senator Sanders's plan will raise middle class taxes is yes. Why wouldn't you say so and then explain why you think it's the better way forward?" Buttigieg said.

Warren has been steadily gaining in the Democratic primary polls, but has managed to dodge the question of how she would pay for a plan which Sanders estimates will cost about $40 trillion over 10 years.

When asked in July if he would raise taxes on the middle class with Medicare for All, Sanders was straightforward in his answer.

"Health care is not free," he told the Washington Post‘s Robert Costa. "Now, we pay for health care in a variety of ways, pretty complicated. About half of health care dollars, more or less, comes from taxes."