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Scarborough: Warren, Sanders Not Being Pressed on Cost of Medicare for All Is a ‘Failure’

'It suddenly goes from being a great bumper sticker to being an unpopular bill'

• September 13, 2019 11:35 am

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MSNBC's Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough on Friday castigated the debate moderators for not pressing the Democratic presidential candidates on being specific about how much Medicare for All will cost Americans.

MSNBC political analyst and former Democratic senator Claire McCaskill said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) is going to have to "answer the question what people are going to pay for this and she is really being very deft at avoiding answering that question."

Scarborough then said it has been a "failure" for the debate moderators in the first three debates for not getting specifics from the candidates on how much the "monstrosity of a bill" is going to cost financially.

"It sounds like something that a lot of people would like, like they want their college debt erased, like they want their health care debt erased, like they want Andrew Yang to give them a million dollars a year," Scarborough said. "There's a lot of things that people want, but there are also things in a country that's $22 trillion in debt cannot afford and I'm sorry. There's not an economist—a respected economist in the world that can show us how those numbers add up."

"It suddenly goes from being a great bumper sticker to being an unpopular bill, but Elizabeth Warren's never been pressed on it and Bernie Sanders has never been pressed on it on these debate stages," Scarborough continued.

In July, Sanders estimated his Medicare for All plan would cost "between $30 and $40 trillion over a 10-year period" and has previously said he would raise taxes, including for the middle class, because he believes people will be happy to pay more taxes under his health care plan.

"What the most serious economists tell us, that if we do nothing to fundamentally change the health care system, which is what Joe was talking about, keeping it as it is, we'll be spending something like $50 trillion over a 10-year period," Sanders said at the debate.