Elizabeth Warren Dodges on Raising Taxes for Middle Class: It’s About Overall ‘Costs’

IOWA CITY, IA - SEPTEMBER 19: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during a town hall event September 19, 2019 in Iowa City, Iowa. Warren will be one of 18 presidential candidates to speak at the Polk County Steak Fry in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday. (Photo by …
Joshua Lott/Getty

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Thursday refused to say if Medicare for All will result in higher taxes for middle class families, dodging the question and instead claiming people care more about overall “costs.”

Warren spoke to NBC News’ Ali Vitali, who asked the Massachusetts senator if Medicare for All will result in higher taxes for middle class families– a question Warren has faced several times before on both the debate stage and campaign trail. Once again, Warren did not answer the question, instead claiming that families care more about overall “costs”:

“So one of the things that a few of your opponents were talking about late last week really was this idea of middle class taxes in healthcare. So yes or no– should middle class Americans expect their taxes to go up under a Medicare for All system?” Vitali asked.

“You may remember that I’ve spent a big chunk of my life studying why middle class families go broke, and one of the number one reasons is health care,” Warren said, repeating one of her routine talking points.

“The problem is its total cost for these families, so it’s what you pay in premiums. It’s also what you paying co-pays to see a doctor, or sorry that doctor is out of network so you’ve got to pay for the whole thing,” she explained.

Because of that, Warren suggested that Americans need to change the way they view the system:

People keep reaching into their pockets and reaching into their pockets even when they have health insurance, so how we have to think about this system is yes we should expect that for giant corporations and very wealthy individuals, costs will go up, but for middle class families – for hardworking people – the costs are going to go down.

“But that’s not the same as taxes not going up,” Vitali pointed out.

Warren did not dismiss Vitali’s assertion but argued that families care more about overall “costs,” regardless of increased taxes.

“What matters to families is costs,” Warren said.

Warren faced the same question during the Democrat debate in Houston, Texas, and repeated the same lines about total “cost.”

“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,” she said.

“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, refusing to ultimately say if middle class taxes would go up, regardless of overall “costs.”

Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) went after Warren for repeatedly refusing to answer the question.

“Senator Warren is known for being straightforward, and was extremely evasive when asked that question, and we’ve seen that repeatedly,” he told CNN’s The Lead last week.

“I think that if you are proud of your plan and it’s the right plan, you should defend it in straightforward terms,” he continued.

“And I think it’s puzzling that when everybody knows the answer to that question, of whether her plan and Senator Sanders’ plan will raise middle-class taxes is yes, why you wouldn’t just say so and then explain why you think that’s the better way forward,” he added.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.