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Warren Mounts a Defense

The presidential candidate explains how Medicare for All will work
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 16, 2019 5:45 PM CST
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In a Monday, Nov. 4, 2019 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks during a town hall meeting at Grinnell College, in Grinnell, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

(Newser) – Elizabeth Warren pushed back against critics of her newly-released plan to phase in implementation of a single-payer health care system, insisting Saturday she is "fully committed" to Medicare for All and plans to first build on existing health care programs. "My commitment to Medicare for All is all the way," Warren told reporters, responding to critics who’ve questioned the timing behind the release of her implementation plan, the AP reports. On Friday, the Massachusetts Democrat released a plan outlining how she would transition to a full Medicare for All program, first by using executive action to bring down drug and health care prices and by pushing Congress to pass a bill giving Americans the option to buy in to an expanded government-run Medicare plan.

Warren says she'll then work with Congress to pass pieces of a universal coverage proposal more gradually, with the whole thing being ready "no later than" her third year in office. The transition plan drew criticism from opposing campaigns, with a spokeswoman for Joe Biden accusing Warren of "muddying the waters" on health care. A number of Democratic candidates, including Biden and Pete Buttigieg, have proposed plans similar to the first phase of Warren’s health care plan, which would allow Americans to buy into a public option. When Warren first revealed her plan two weeks ago, she proposed raising most of the additional $20.5 trillion her campaign believes would be needed from taxes on businesses, wealthy people, and investors—not the middle class. (See her hit back at billionaires.)


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