Buttigieg Blasts Warren’s ‘Transparently Political’ Health Care Plan

Pete Buttigieg / Getty Images

South Bend, Ind., mayor and presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg (D.) ripped Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D., Mass.) new health care plan, saying she "still doesn't trust the American people" to make decisions for themselves.

The statement, put out by communications adviser Lis Smith, described Warren's plan as a "transparently political attempt to paper over a very serious policy problem," criticizing Warren for wanting "to force 150 million people off their private insurance whether they like it or not."

"No amount of Washington political games can save her plan from that fatal flaw: she still doesn't trust the American people to make the right health care decisions for themselves," the campaign concluded.

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Warren's plan would transition the American health care system to a "Medicare for All" system over the first three years of her term as president. It proposes using budget reconciliation to pass the massive overhaul. The reconciliation process effectively bypasses the Senate's 60-vote filibuster threshold to enact spending, tax, or debt-limit legislation.

The plan would let Americans opt in a Medicare-based public option before the end of the three-year period. After three years, every American would be integrated into the new Medicare for All program.

"I won’t hand Mitch McConnell a veto over my health care agenda," the plan reads. "Instead, I’ll give every American over the age of 50 the choice to enter an improved Medicare program, and I’ll give every person in America the choice to get coverage through a true Medicare for All option."

The "choice" language is similar to Buttigieg's proposed "Medicare for All Who Want It" plan, which would also allow individuals to opt in to a public health insurance program.

Warren and Buttigieg have clashed in recent weeks over the issue of health care. Buttigieg criticized Warren's funding plan for her Medicare for All proposal, calling the math behind the plan "controversial."

A recent Iowa poll showed the South Bend mayor moving into first place in the state over former vice president Joe Biden, Warren, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), respectively. However, both Biden and Warren were within the poll's margin of error.