Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Friday accused Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) of making up the numbers for her recent Medicare for All cost estimate.
Biden went on the attack after PBS host Judy Woodruff repeated the Warren campaign's estimate that government run health care would only cost about $20 trillion.
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"She's making it up," Biden said. "She's making it up. Look, nobody thinks it's $20 trillion. It's between $30 and 40 trillion dollars. Every major independent study that's gone out there— that's taken a look at this, there's no way—even Bernie, who talks about the need to raise middle class taxes—he can't even meet the cost of it."
Biden said Democrats should focus on reforming Obamacare by providing a public option and further subsidies so more Americans could afford high levels of coverage plan. He estimated that his proposal would cost $750 billion over 10 years, compared to the multi-trillion dollar annual costs of Medicare for All.
"We can pay for that. It does not cost $3.4 trillion per year and it can be done now, not in four years, not in eight years, not in 10 years like they're talking about," Biden said.
Biden is not the only leading Democrat who is skeptical of Medicare for All. On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said she is "not a big fan of Medicare for All." Woodruff followed up by asking Biden whether he believes the eventual Democratic nominee for president is an "automatic loser" if he or she supports Medicare for All.
"I think it is going to be very difficult to even get a Democratic Congress to vote for that. I think it's going to be very difficult to get Democrats to vote for that when they find out what the cost is," Biden said. "The net increase in what's out-of-pocket for them, counting what they're saving in health care costs, is going to be up exponentially. Some of the recent studies show you would have to increase the withholding tax by 25 percent to get there."
This isn't the first time Biden has gone after Warren on Medicare for All. Back in September, he criticized her for not being "straightforward" with voters about the cost of Medicare for All, adding, "She's gonna raise people's taxes" to pay for the plan.