Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren unveiled a plan to pay for Medicare for All without taxing the middle class, addressing a common criticism from her opponents.
The senator from Massachusetts has promised Medicare for All so every American would have full healthcare and long-term care coverage. Warren's plan would cost just under $52 trillion over 10 years and would cover 331 million people.
"The $11 trillion in household insurance and out-of-pocket expenses projected under our current system goes right back into the pockets of America's working people," Warren wrote in a blog on Medium.com. "And we make up the difference with targeted spending cuts, new taxes on giant corporations and the richest 1 percent of Americans, and by cracking down on tax evasion and fraud. Not one penny in middle-class tax increases."
She would also redirect funds from states to help fund the federal Medicare program.
This differs from fellow 2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who said raising taxes on the middle class is necessary to pay for Medicare.
Warren said her plan would allow patients to see the doctors they want to see with no restrictive provider networks, no more insurance companies denying coverage for prescribed treatments and no more going broke over medical bills.
She describes how she traveled the country to bankruptcy courts to find the real reasons people were going broke. She built a comprehensive database of consumer bankruptcy data that showed 90 percent of families went bankrupt because of job loss, medical problems or marital disruption. The number one reason families filed bankruptcy was because of healthcare costs.
She also found 75 percent of those people had health insurance. That study was done in the 1980s. The numbers are even more staggering now, Warren said. Between 2013 and 2016, healthcare was the top reason families went broke even though 91 percent of Americans had health insurance in 2016.
She opens the blog by describing her own family's ordeal.
"My daddy's heart attack nearly sent our family skidding over a financial cliff," Warren said. "Today I think about all the kids this year who will face the double blow of nearly losing a parent and then watching their lives turn upside down as their families struggle to pay a growing stack of medical bills."