Jared Bernstein, a former Obama administration official who served as the Chief Economic Adviser to then Vice President Joe Biden (D), offered a harsh criticism of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) Medicare for All plan on Monday, likening the debate over her plan to the promise of buying a “unicorn” with a “unicorn.”
The former Obama administration essentially dismissed Warren’s plan as a pipe dream during an appearance on CNBC on Monday.
“A good question for her is, given neither this nor the next Congress will enact your plan, don’t tell us what you’d like to do. Tell us about what you would do; what you think is in the realm of possible,” Bernstein said.
“This debate, this is just basically like saying, ‘I’m going to buy a unicorn and I’m going to pay for it with a unicorn,'” he added:
Jared Bernstein is probably the most left-wing person who worked in the Obama admin. His take on the Warren M4A financing proposal: "This debate, this is just basically like saying, ‘I’m going to buy a unicorn and I’m going to pay for it with a unicorn.’”https://t.co/mCigdBD4Uv
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) November 4, 2019
He later clarified his statement in an email to Squawk Box, noting he does, in fact, “like the aspirations” of the Medicare for All plan but suggested Democrats are wasting their time “arguing about things that are very unlikely to be legislated.”
“My point was that while I very much like the aspirations of the ‘Medicare for All’ plan, we shouldn’t spend too much time arguing about things that are very unlikely to be legislated,” he wrote, according to CNBC.
Warren unveiled her $52 trillion plan on Friday, which she claimed would not raise taxes on the middle class. That claim, however, has been under scrutiny, as some suggest the Employer Medicare Contribution “essentially amounts to an employer-side payroll tax, which many economists say harms workers in the form of suppressed wages,” as Breitbart News reported.
Warren claims she will pay for her multi-trillion dollar proposal via tax hikes on the wealthy, cutting military spending, and pursuing amnesty.
Biden initially questioned Warren’s plan through his deputy campaign member Kate Bedingfield, who said Warren’s proposal amounted to “mathematical gymnastics.”
Warren responded to the Biden campaign’s critique, citing former Obama administration officials who authenticated her plan’s revenue projections:
Warren re Biden campaign calling her M4A "mathematical gymnastics" She cites numbers from Obama economists "if Joe Biden doesnt like that I'm just not sure where he's going." She adds any Dem who defends insurance profits "I think theyre running in the wrong presidential primary" pic.twitter.com/LdhyRrlWKz
— Adam Brewster (@adam_brew) November 1, 2019
Bernstein ultimately echoed the Biden campaign’s concerns.
“My biggest misgiving about the plan is that it’s really hard to transition 160 million people from employer-provided coverage — many of them, and I’m one of them, really like that coverage — without a much longer transition plan than I see in here,” he added.