Late-night host Stephen Colbert stumped Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) during her appearance on his show Tuesday night after confronting her for refusing to say if Medicare for All would result in higher taxes for the middle class.
Colbert asked Warren, a strong advocate for a government-run health care system, if Medicare for All would result in higher taxes for the middle class — a question she has faced before but has continually refused to answer directly:
“You keep being asked in the debates ‘how are you going to pay for it. Are you going to be raising the middle class taxes?'” The Late Show host said. “How are you going to pay for it? Are you going to be raising the middle class taxes?”
“So, here’s how we’re going to do this,” Warren said. “Costs are going to go up for the wealthiest Americans, for big corporations… and hard-working middle class families are going to see their costs going down.”
“But will their taxes go up?” Colbert asked, before offering a suggestion to the presidential candidate on how to better frame the “radical” proposal.
“I’ve listened to these answers a few times before, and I just want to make a parallel suggestion to you that you might defend the taxes perhaps that you’re not mentioning in your sentence,” Colbert said.
“Isn’t Medicare for All like public school? There might be taxes for it, but you certainly save a lot of money sending your kids to school and do you want to live in a world where your kids aren’t educated? Do you want to live in a world where your fellow citizens are dying, even if it costs a little bit of money?” he asked.
Despite Colbert’s suggestion, Warren would not directly say if the proposal would result in higher taxes on the middle class.
“So, I accept your point and I believe in your point. Health care is a basic human right. We fight for basic human rights, and that’s Medicare for All. Everyone gets covered,” she said before detailing her history of studying “why families go broke” and naming health care costs as one of the primary factors.
I am so deeply grateful to President Obama who moved this country to say, ‘We as a country want every person here to have health care coverage.’ And now it’s time to take the next step and say let’s do that in the most effective way possible,” Warren said. “And what every study shows is that Medicare for All is the cheapest way to do that. And it’s the way to make sure that those who have more will pay more, but that hardworking families will pay less. Nobody has to go bankrupt over health care if we get Medicare for All.
Warren dodged a similar question posed during the third Democrat primary debate in Houston, Texas, last week, refusing to say if Medicare for All would result in higher taxes for the middle class.
“Middle class families are going to pay less,” she said during the debate, referring to health care costs, specifically:
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“What we’re talking about here is what’s going to happen in families’ pockets, what’s going to happen in their budgets, and the answer is, on Medicare for All, costs are going to go up for wealthier individuals and costs are going to go up for giant corporations,” the Massachusetts senator continued.
“But for hardworking families across this country costs are going to go down, and that’s how it should work under Medicare for All,” she added.