As those who watched last week’s Democratic presidential debate saw how Elizabeth Warren avoided giving an answer about how she would pay for her Medicare for all plan. However, she is no fooling anybody. In fact, we have a pretty good idea of what her answer would be: namely, the middle class and the rich will pay for it.
“Warren drew jeers from other Democratic candidates… for consistently refusing to give a yes or no answer as to whether she’d raise taxes on the middle class to pay for her [Medicare for all] plan and, more broadly, not spelling out how she’d pay for it at all.”
The average cost of health care for an American family of four who get insurance through work is $22,885 according to the Kaiser Foundation. Estimates friendly to Warren believe that “almost all of that cost would be eliminated under her plan and replaced with federal spending” (italics, mine).
There is the poison pill: those costs would be replaced by “federal spending”—that is, tax-payer dollars. Some analysts estimate the costs to be 3 to 4 trillion dollars per year, and “that could add up to over $10 trillion over a decade.”
Who else could pay for such plan except the middle class and the wealthy, because now millions who will be added to the Medicare rolls either have not made a significant or sustained contribution to Medicare or to the tax base (being low-wage earners), or never have and never will.
With Democrats talking about expanding Medicare for all to cover even illegal immigrants, who can really say what the real cost of Medicare for all will be in the end. The only thing we can be sure of, however, is that it is the rich and the middle class who will have to pay for it.