Buttigieg: Warren 'Extremely Evasive' About How to Pay for Medicare for All

'If you are proud of your plan, and it's the right plan, you should defend it in straightforward terms'

September 19, 2019

South Bend (Ind.) Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D.) accused fellow presidential contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) of being "extremely evasive" Thursday when discussing whether her support for Medicare for All will require tax increases on the middle class.

Buttigieg said Thursday on CNN's The Lead that Warren, whom Buttigieg added is "known for being straightforward," has not given simple answers when questioned on health care.

"If you are proud of your plan, and it's the right plan, you should defend it in straightforward terms," Buttigieg said. "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 claims his own plan, which he calls Medicare for all who want it, will not mean tax increases on the middle class.

In defending Medicare for All, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) admitted in July that "of course" a single-payer health care system will require tax hikes for the middle class.

"Health care is not free," he told the 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."

At the time, Sanders estimated his health care plan would cost about $40 trillion over 10 years.

When asked about her own views on health care at the June Democratic primary debate, Warren answered she is "with Bernie on Medicare for All." But when pressed on whether that means she supports raising taxes on the middle class, as Sanders has, Warren has dodged the question, most recently in a Tuesday interview with Stephen Colbert on CBS's The Late Show.