July 31, 2019 | Updates

‘How About The Taxes?’: Medicare For All Support By Senator Warren Means Middle Class Tax Hikes

WASHINGTON – In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews following Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) refused to answer “no fewer than ten times” when asked whether Americans would pay higher taxes under the Medicare for all system she supports.  

While insisting her decision not to answer was “not a dodge,” Senator Warren declined to answer questions from Matthews such as: 

  • “Will your payroll [taxes] go up?”
  • “How much will your taxes go up?”
  • “But will you pay more in taxes?  Why don’t you want to answer that question?”
  • “My question is, how much will taxes go up?”
  • “But will your taxes go up?  Will your taxes go up?”
  • “But there’s no answer to the question, will your taxes go up?”
  • “How about the taxes?”

Here’s a simple answer to Matthews’s questions: “There’s no possible way to finance [Medicare for all] without big middle class tax increases,” as Marc Goldwein of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget recently explained to The Washington Post.

And while proponents of Medicare for all routinely claim that their government-run system would save Americans money, Bloomberg reports, “[f]or many Americans, though, that would not be true,” and “higher taxes would exceed any savings [T]he 181 million taxpayers with employer-sponsored coverage could miss out on the benefits of the Sanders plan, and even those receiving Medicaid could pay more, according to health-care policy experts on both sides of the political spectrum … [Senator Bernie] Sanders has proposed a wealth tax, a bank levy and premiums paid by employers and employees.  But that only raises about half of what is needed, meaning that payroll taxes and income tax increases would necessarily have to be part of the plan.” 

Fact-checkers for The Washington Post note that “[a]ccording to a study from the Urban Institute (and a follow-up paper), Medicare-for-all would still add $32.6 trillion to national health spending over 10 years.”  And CNN reports that “[t]ax experts … say that you can’t raise enough money from taxing the rich and that the levies on all Americans may exceed the savings for more people than Sanders expects.  This may be particularly true of low-income folks who get heavily subsidized coverage on the Obamacare exchanges.”  

And while many Americans are just beginning to learn how a one-size-fits-all system would affect their health care, most are already well aware of the unaffordable tax hikes they’d be hit with: “There’s one thing Americans understand about Medicare-for-all: It would mean higher taxes … Americans seem most familiar with the fact that Medicare-for-all would require massively higher taxes,” The Washington Post reports of a recent national poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.  As Kaiser writes of their findings, “eight in 10 Americans (78%) are aware that taxes would increase for most people under such a plan.”  

Notably, a previous national poll by Kaiser revealed that 60 percent oppose Medicare for all when they learn it would require most Americans to pay higher taxes.



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