Elizabeth Warren: 2 Million Lost Jobs ‘Part of the Cost Issue’ for Medicare for All

Appearing Wednesday on New Hampshire Public Radio, 2020 White House contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) conceded that substantial job losses are “part of the cost issue” with her high-priority Medicare for All policy.

(Watch: 17:34—19:04)

A partial transcript is as follows: 

CASEY MCDERMOTT: Regardless of what kind of money is involved, Medicare for All would likely result in a pretty significant shift in how our healthcare system is structured. And even supporters of that approach within the health policy world have said that that likely would mean lost jobs in some form. An economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst told Kaiser Health News earlier this year that that could result in about 2 million jobs lost. He said this would be mostly administrative positions and insurers, doctors’ offices, and he said that politicians who want to move toward that system, Medicare for All, have to think about what “just transition,” a fair transition would look like. What would that look like for you?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: So, I agree. I think this is part of the cost issue and should be part of the cost plan. Although, do recognize on this what we are talking about and that is, in effect, how much of our healthcare dollars have not gone to healthcare. How many of those dollars have been pulled out in other directions? Think about the for-profit insurance system we have that lays at the very middle of our healthcare delivery system. That system made $23 billion in profits last year and that’s after all the executive salaries, all the administrative people, all the fancy glass office buildings they built, and how do they make those profits? Think about it. It’s how much they took in for premiums and then turned around and said “no,” and every time they said “no,” they made another dollar of profits. That’s just not a sustainable healthcare system.

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