Tag Archives: Medicare

Democrats pounce as Trump says he would consider cuts to Social Security and Medicare

Democrats pounce as Trump says he would consider cuts to Social Security and MedicarePresident Trump said he was open to look at cutting entitlements, giving Democrats another issue to run on in 2020.



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Medicare for All, Progressive-Campaign Killer

Medicare for All, Progressive-Campaign KillerPundits have a ready explanation when one of their favorites loses or ends a campaign: The voters just didn't get to know the candidate the way media do. He or she was too wonky, or eager to please, or insular, or revealing, or uncertain for the masses. The electoral process made it impossible for him or her to connect with voters. The classic example is Hillary Clinton, who has reintroduced herself to the public umpteen times over the decades. A friend who knows her once told me I would like Clinton if only I got to meet her informally. I had a good laugh at that one.A similar lament greeted the news that Kamala Harris had dropped out of the Democratic primary. Last year, CNN ranked Harris first among the contenders. Now it's back to the Senate. The Washington Free Beacon compiled a short video of media types saddened by Harris's departure. A New York Times op-ed asked, "Did We Ever Know the Real Kamala Harris?" Writers for the Washington Post said that Harris failed because she lacked "a theory of the case" and wasn't able "to explain why she was running for president." Yes, it helps to have a reason for your candidacy beyond media reports that you check all the right boxes. But the argument that Harris flopped because of a failure to communicate lets her off easy.The Times piece didn't mention the policy initiative upon which Harris launched her campaign: Bernie Sanders's Medicare-for-All legislation, which would eliminate private and employer-based health insurance. Harris signed on as a cosponsor to the bill last April. It's haunted her ever since. Medicare for All might look like the sort of "big, structural change" that sets progressive hearts aflutter. For most voters it causes arrhythmia.The proposal is liberals' fool's gold. It appears valuable but is actually worthless. It gets the progressive politician coming and going: Not only do voters recoil at the notion of having their insurance canceled, but candidates look awkward and inauthentic when they begin to move away from the unpopular idea they mistakenly embraced. That's what happened to Harris earlier this year and is happening to Elizabeth Warren today.Harris moved into second place nationwide after her ambush of Joe Biden over busing during the first Democratic debate. But her position soon began to erode. Her wavering position on eliminating private insurance dissatisfied voters. She had raised her hand in support of the policy during the debate, but the next day she walked it back. Then she walked back the walk-back. Then, ahead of the second debate, she released an intermediary plan that allowed for certain forms of private insurance. She stumbled again when Biden called her to account for the cost of the bill. Tulsi Gabbard's pincer move on incarceration, using data first reported by the Free Beacon, made matters worse. By September, Harris had fallen to fifth place.This was around the time that Warren, bolstered by adoring press coverage and strong retail politics, began her ascent. For a moment in early October, she pulled slightly ahead of Biden in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls. Her rivals sensed an opportunity in her refusal to admit that middle-class taxes would have to increase to pay for Medicare for All. The attacks took their toll. Support for Warren fell. She then released an eye-popping payment scheme that failed to satisfy her critics. In early November, she released a "first term" plan that would "transition" the country to Medicare for All. In so doing, she conceded the unreality of her initial proposal. She came across as sophistical and conniving. Her descent continues.The national front-runner, Joe Biden, and the early-state leader, Pete Buttigieg, both reject Medicare for All in favor of a public option that would allow people to buy into Medicare. They reflect the polls. Democrats support a public option at higher levels than they do Medicare for All. A November Des Moines Register poll of likely Democratic caucus-goers found that only 36 percent supported a Medicare-for-All plan that would cancel private health insurance. More than half supported some other alternative to a one-size-fits-all universal government program. The November Quinnipiac survey found that 71 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners were for a Medicare buy-in. That is twelve points higher than the support for Medicare for All.One reason for Bernie Sanders's polling stability is that Democrats remain open to the idea of Medicare for All. They just want a candidate to be direct about the costs and tradeoffs associated with the program. Voters in general are not as credulous. When told that Medicare for All would mean additional taxes and the end of private insurance, voters reject it.A Global Strategy Group poll of 1,113 registered voters in June concluded that support for Medicare for All depends on the way the question is phrased. While the survey found that 51 percent of respondents supported a Medicare-for-All program in the abstract, support fell to 47 percent when respondents were told that it "would provide the Medicare program to all Americans and eventually eliminate all private health insurance." Opposition spiked to 53 percent.The mid-November Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll of adults found that 53 percent favored a version of Medicare for All "in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan." A 65 percent majority, however, favored a public option "that would compete with private health insurance plans and be available to all Americans." That's music to Biden and Buttigieg's ears.When Kaiser asked adults if they favored a Medicare-for-All plan that would "require many employers and some individuals to pay more in taxes, but eliminate health insurance premiums and deductibles for all Americans," support fell to 48 percent. And when Kaiser asked if they favored Medicare for All that would "increase the taxes that you personally pay, but decrease your overall costs for health care," support fell to 47 percent. Forty-eight percent were opposed.Quinnipiac found that support for Medicare for All among all voters has fallen from a high of 51 percent who said it was a good idea in August 2017 to 36 percent today. The picture looks even worse for progressives in the swing states. The most recent Blue Wall Voices project of the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Cook Political Report found that a 62 percent majority of swing voters in Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin called Medicare for All a "bad idea." The top health-care priority for voters was lowering prescription-drug costs. Medicare for All was last.Once thought to be the fulfillment of the age-old dream of universal health care, Medicare for All is more like one of those ingenious Acme devices Wile E. Coyote uses to catch the Road Runner. It's a catapult that launches you into the stratosphere. And right into a wall.This article originally appeared in the Washington Free Beacon.



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'Saturday Night Live' Pokes Fun at Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Very Ambitious Medicare for All Plan

'Saturday Night Live' Pokes Fun at Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Very Ambitious Medicare for All Plan“Your insurance is like a bad boyfriend”



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Medicare Can Be Confusing: 6 Top Questions, Answered

Medicare Can Be Confusing: 6 Top Questions, AnsweredMost people on Medicare report that they are very satisfied with their health care coverage — but the program is complicated. Medicare features an alphabet soup of plans, coverage choices, premium levels and enrollment rules.The New York Times recently invited readers to submit their questions about Medicare and responded to some of the most frequent ones.– What kind of monthly premiums for either original Medicare or Advantage can I realistically plan on budgeting, especially considering inflation?Health care inflation has been running about double the rate of general inflation. HealthView Services, a research and consulting firm, expects annual health care inflation to run an average of 5% to 5.5% through most of the coming decade.The standard monthly premium for Part B (outpatient services) this year is $ 135.50; Medicare's trustees forecast annual increases averaging 5.9% through 2028. Enrollees in traditional Medicare can expect inflation of 6% if inflation for Medigap premiums is included.Among Medicare Advantage plans (Part C), 49% of plans that include drug coverage will charge no additional premium beyond Part B next year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Plans that do have additional premiums for drugs will charge an average of $ 36 next year, Kaiser says.According to HealthView, a 65-year-old couple using original Medicare this year will spend around $ 10,300 on premiums for prescription drugs and Medigap, and various out-of-pocket costs. In 20 years, their costs are projected to be around $ 33,000 annually (future dollars)."The compounding effect of inflation is significant," said Ron Mastrogiovanni, HealthView's chief executive.– How can I get insurance for dental care? I am 78 years old and this is my largest uncovered medical expense.Nearly two-thirds of Medicare enrollees have no dental insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. That means a majority pay for their care out of pocket or go without.Original fee-for-service Medicare does not cover most dental care, and it also does not cover hearing or vision care. Dental care is covered only in very limited circumstances, for example, if it is necessary as part of a covered procedure.Many Medicare Advantage plans — the managed-care private alternative to the original program — include some dental coverage. Next year, 90% of Advantage enrollees will have access to some dental benefits, according to Avalere Health, a research and consulting firm. Sixty percent will have access to a plan covering restorative services; 78% will be able to get coverage for X-rays and cleanings.Like other dental insurance, Advantage plan coverage levels have caps. "'Limited' would be a good word to describe it," says Sean Creighton, a managing director in the policy practice at Avalere.The percentage of Medicare Advantage plans covering hearing and vision care is rising by similar percentages, he adds.In most cases, these services are being offered without an additional premium. Plans are paid based on a benchmark per-capita rate Medicare uses to pay for original Medicare enrollees; when Advantage plans bid below that rate for matching original Medicare benefits, they are permitted to use the difference to offer extra benefits.Advantage plans are "trying to attract members from original Medicare and in competition with each other," he added. "Dental, vision and hearing benefits are very popular."Original Medicare enrollees have the option of adding a commercial stand-alone dental policy. For example, a Delta Dental PPO plan offered in New York City carries a monthly premium of $ 48, with an annual deductible of $ 50 and an annual per-person payment limit of $ 1,500.Many of the current Medicare for All proposals would add coverage of dental, vision and hearing care.– Someone called me claiming to be from Medicare and I gave out my Medicare number. Should I be concerned?Medicare generally does not initiate calls to enrollees — with a couple of exceptions. Medicare health or drug plans can call current members. And customer service representatives from Medicare (1-800-MEDICARE) may call if you have left a message, or if a representative indicated that you would receive a return call.Never give out your Medicare — or Social Security — number to anyone who calls you on the phone, sends email or makes a personal contact. Your personal information, including your Medicare number, should be shared only with health care providers, your insurers or trusted counseling services, such as the State Health Insurance Assistance Program."Any unexpected call from someone claiming to be from Medicare is a huge red flag, especially if you didn't call first," says Amy Nofziger, director of fraud victim support at AARP.AARP's fraud help line (877-908-3360) has noted a recent increase in phone schemes, usually aimed at persuading people to order equipment or services that are then billed to Medicare. "A big one lately has been DNA genetic testing kits," Nofziger said. "Sometimes, Medicare will deny the claim and then the perpetrator mails a bill to the enrollee," she said. "You might get a bill for up to $ 10,000, which is pretty scary for people."If you suspect you've been victimized by fraud, alert Medicare that a scammer may have your identifying number so that your account can be flagged and monitored. And, keep a careful eye on the monthly explanation of benefits that Medicare sends, looking out for any suspicious charges."If Medicare feels the problem rises to the level of needing to provide you a new Medicare number, they can do that," Nofziger added.Issuing new numbers became easier recently after the government revamped its system. The old Medicare cards used Social Security numbers, but those were phased out. New cards use a unique, randomly assigned number.– Why does Medicare set my 2019 premium cost using my 2017 income? I am newly retired as of August 2019 and my Part B premium is $ 433 a month. I'm also paying more for my prescription drug plan. My income in 2019 is much lower than it was in 2017.High-income Medicare enrollees have been paying surcharges on Part B and Part D premiums since 2007. These so-called Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA) affect a relatively small share of the Medicare population — about 7% this year, according to federal data — but they are steep.The standard Part B premium requires enrollees to pay 25% of the government's total per-capita program costs; the surcharges require high-income enrollees to pay anywhere from 35 to 85% more, depending on their income. The Part D income-related surcharge is calculated as a percentage of the national average cost of the standard drug benefit, using the same percentages and income thresholds used for Part B IRMAA.IRMAA is determined by your modified adjusted gross income, which includes the adjusted gross income reported on your tax return, plus tax-exempt income.For many retirees, the big surprise is the look-back that determines whether IRMAA is owed — income often declines in retirement, but your initial premium could be set using pre-retirement income levels. The Social Security Administration determines whether surcharges are owed from data in the most recently available tax return it obtains from the IRS; for 2020 premiums, the agency will use income tax data provided this year from 2018 tax filings."The sticker shock comes in the form of the Social Security benefit," Mastrogiovanni adds. "Not only is the Part B premium deducted, but also the surcharges. So people go through their planning to see what Social Security will generate, but people in these high-income brackets could lose up to half of their gross Social Security benefit."– In your recent discussion of limitations of Medicare Advantage plans, you did not include information about improper claims denials and the difficulty people have pursuing appeals. That certainly should be part of your coverage.A report last year by federal investigators did find that Advantage plans have a pattern of inappropriately denying patient claims. The Office of Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services found "widespread and persistent problems related to denials of care and payment in Medicare Advantage" plans. The report examined appeals filed by patients and health care providers from 2014 through 2016, and found that Advantage plans themselves overturned the denials in 75% of cases.However, very few claim denials are appealed — just 1% during the three-year period reviewed in the inspector general's report.The Advantage payment model reimburses plans a preset amount per patient; that may be incentivizing plans "to deny preauthorization of services for beneficiaries, and payments to providers, in order to increase profits," the report concluded."We see plenty of denials by Advantage plans that shouldn't be denied, and wouldn't be if the patient had been enrolled in original Medicare," says David Lipschutz, associate director and senior policy attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy.Among the most common problems, he says, are early hospital discharges, denial of care in a skilled nursing facility or home health care.– I had an accident this year that has required bilateral knee surgery — I was in the hospital for a week and a residential rehab facility for physical therapy for one month. Now I am home with a home health nurse weekly, and visits from a physical therapist five days a week. I also have adaptive equipment. My recovery process will be at least five more months, carrying over into 2020. Can my Plan G Medigap supplemental insurance provider cancel me for 2020?Original Medicare enrollees often add a Medigap supplemental plan to cap out-of-pocket expenses — and that comes in especially handy when a major medical problem arises. You can choose among a dizzying array of standardized plan options with varying degrees of coverage; Plan G is one of the most comprehensive, covering hospital and doctor coinsurance costs, hospice care, coinsurance for skilled nursing facilities and hospital deductibles.Fortunately, Medigap coverage does not disappear when you need it."No Medigap plan can cancel you for spending too much," says Chris Hakim, senior vice president for Medicare at eHealth, an insurance exchange. "The only way you can lose coverage is if you don't pay your premiums."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company



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Medicare Can Be Confusing: 6 Top Questions, Answered

Medicare Can Be Confusing: 6 Top Questions, AnsweredMost people on Medicare report that they are very satisfied with their health care coverage — but the program is complicated. Medicare features an alphabet soup of plans, coverage choices, premium levels and enrollment rules.The New York Times recently invited readers to submit their questions about Medicare and responded to some of the most frequent ones.– What kind of monthly premiums for either original Medicare or Advantage can I realistically plan on budgeting, especially considering inflation?Health care inflation has been running about double the rate of general inflation. HealthView Services, a research and consulting firm, expects annual health care inflation to run an average of 5% to 5.5% through most of the coming decade.The standard monthly premium for Part B (outpatient services) this year is $ 135.50; Medicare's trustees forecast annual increases averaging 5.9% through 2028. Enrollees in traditional Medicare can expect inflation of 6% if inflation for Medigap premiums is included.Among Medicare Advantage plans (Part C), 49% of plans that include drug coverage will charge no additional premium beyond Part B next year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Plans that do have additional premiums for drugs will charge an average of $ 36 next year, Kaiser says.According to HealthView, a 65-year-old couple using original Medicare this year will spend around $ 10,300 on premiums for prescription drugs and Medigap, and various out-of-pocket costs. In 20 years, their costs are projected to be around $ 33,000 annually (future dollars)."The compounding effect of inflation is significant," said Ron Mastrogiovanni, HealthView's chief executive.– How can I get insurance for dental care? I am 78 years old and this is my largest uncovered medical expense.Nearly two-thirds of Medicare enrollees have no dental insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. That means a majority pay for their care out of pocket or go without.Original fee-for-service Medicare does not cover most dental care, and it also does not cover hearing or vision care. Dental care is covered only in very limited circumstances, for example, if it is necessary as part of a covered procedure.Many Medicare Advantage plans — the managed-care private alternative to the original program — include some dental coverage. Next year, 90% of Advantage enrollees will have access to some dental benefits, according to Avalere Health, a research and consulting firm. Sixty percent will have access to a plan covering restorative services; 78% will be able to get coverage for X-rays and cleanings.Like other dental insurance, Advantage plan coverage levels have caps. "'Limited' would be a good word to describe it," says Sean Creighton, a managing director in the policy practice at Avalere.The percentage of Medicare Advantage plans covering hearing and vision care is rising by similar percentages, he adds.In most cases, these services are being offered without an additional premium. Plans are paid based on a benchmark per-capita rate Medicare uses to pay for original Medicare enrollees; when Advantage plans bid below that rate for matching original Medicare benefits, they are permitted to use the difference to offer extra benefits.Advantage plans are "trying to attract members from original Medicare and in competition with each other," he added. "Dental, vision and hearing benefits are very popular."Original Medicare enrollees have the option of adding a commercial stand-alone dental policy. For example, a Delta Dental PPO plan offered in New York City carries a monthly premium of $ 48, with an annual deductible of $ 50 and an annual per-person payment limit of $ 1,500.Many of the current Medicare for All proposals would add coverage of dental, vision and hearing care.– Someone called me claiming to be from Medicare and I gave out my Medicare number. Should I be concerned?Medicare generally does not initiate calls to enrollees — with a couple of exceptions. Medicare health or drug plans can call current members. And customer service representatives from Medicare (1-800-MEDICARE) may call if you have left a message, or if a representative indicated that you would receive a return call.Never give out your Medicare — or Social Security — number to anyone who calls you on the phone, sends email or makes a personal contact. Your personal information, including your Medicare number, should be shared only with health care providers, your insurers or trusted counseling services, such as the State Health Insurance Assistance Program."Any unexpected call from someone claiming to be from Medicare is a huge red flag, especially if you didn't call first," says Amy Nofziger, director of fraud victim support at AARP.AARP's fraud help line (877-908-3360) has noted a recent increase in phone schemes, usually aimed at persuading people to order equipment or services that are then billed to Medicare. "A big one lately has been DNA genetic testing kits," Nofziger said. "Sometimes, Medicare will deny the claim and then the perpetrator mails a bill to the enrollee," she said. "You might get a bill for up to $ 10,000, which is pretty scary for people."If you suspect you've been victimized by fraud, alert Medicare that a scammer may have your identifying number so that your account can be flagged and monitored. And, keep a careful eye on the monthly explanation of benefits that Medicare sends, looking out for any suspicious charges."If Medicare feels the problem rises to the level of needing to provide you a new Medicare number, they can do that," Nofziger added.Issuing new numbers became easier recently after the government revamped its system. The old Medicare cards used Social Security numbers, but those were phased out. New cards use a unique, randomly assigned number.– Why does Medicare set my 2019 premium cost using my 2017 income? I am newly retired as of August 2019 and my Part B premium is $ 433 a month. I'm also paying more for my prescription drug plan. My income in 2019 is much lower than it was in 2017.High-income Medicare enrollees have been paying surcharges on Part B and Part D premiums since 2007. These so-called Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA) affect a relatively small share of the Medicare population — about 7% this year, according to federal data — but they are steep.The standard Part B premium requires enrollees to pay 25% of the government's total per-capita program costs; the surcharges require high-income enrollees to pay anywhere from 35 to 85% more, depending on their income. The Part D income-related surcharge is calculated as a percentage of the national average cost of the standard drug benefit, using the same percentages and income thresholds used for Part B IRMAA.IRMAA is determined by your modified adjusted gross income, which includes the adjusted gross income reported on your tax return, plus tax-exempt income.For many retirees, the big surprise is the look-back that determines whether IRMAA is owed — income often declines in retirement, but your initial premium could be set using pre-retirement income levels. The Social Security Administration determines whether surcharges are owed from data in the most recently available tax return it obtains from the IRS; for 2020 premiums, the agency will use income tax data provided this year from 2018 tax filings."The sticker shock comes in the form of the Social Security benefit," Mastrogiovanni adds. "Not only is the Part B premium deducted, but also the surcharges. So people go through their planning to see what Social Security will generate, but people in these high-income brackets could lose up to half of their gross Social Security benefit."– In your recent discussion of limitations of Medicare Advantage plans, you did not include information about improper claims denials and the difficulty people have pursuing appeals. That certainly should be part of your coverage.A report last year by federal investigators did find that Advantage plans have a pattern of inappropriately denying patient claims. The Office of Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services found "widespread and persistent problems related to denials of care and payment in Medicare Advantage" plans. The report examined appeals filed by patients and health care providers from 2014 through 2016, and found that Advantage plans themselves overturned the denials in 75% of cases.However, very few claim denials are appealed — just 1% during the three-year period reviewed in the inspector general's report.The Advantage payment model reimburses plans a preset amount per patient; that may be incentivizing plans "to deny preauthorization of services for beneficiaries, and payments to providers, in order to increase profits," the report concluded."We see plenty of denials by Advantage plans that shouldn't be denied, and wouldn't be if the patient had been enrolled in original Medicare," says David Lipschutz, associate director and senior policy attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy.Among the most common problems, he says, are early hospital discharges, denial of care in a skilled nursing facility or home health care.– I had an accident this year that has required bilateral knee surgery — I was in the hospital for a week and a residential rehab facility for physical therapy for one month. Now I am home with a home health nurse weekly, and visits from a physical therapist five days a week. I also have adaptive equipment. My recovery process will be at least five more months, carrying over into 2020. Can my Plan G Medigap supplemental insurance provider cancel me for 2020?Original Medicare enrollees often add a Medigap supplemental plan to cap out-of-pocket expenses — and that comes in especially handy when a major medical problem arises. You can choose among a dizzying array of standardized plan options with varying degrees of coverage; Plan G is one of the most comprehensive, covering hospital and doctor coinsurance costs, hospice care, coinsurance for skilled nursing facilities and hospital deductibles.Fortunately, Medigap coverage does not disappear when you need it."No Medigap plan can cancel you for spending too much," says Chris Hakim, senior vice president for Medicare at eHealth, an insurance exchange. "The only way you can lose coverage is if you don't pay your premiums."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company



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UPDATE 6-Democrat Warren: Medicare for All would not raise U.S. middle-class taxes 'one penny'

UPDATE 6-Democrat Warren: Medicare for All would not raise U.S. middle-class taxes 'one penny'NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on Friday proposed a $ 20.5 trillion Medicare for All plan that she said would not require raising middle-class taxes “one penny,” answering critics who had attacked her for failing to explain how she would pay for the sweeping healthcare system overhaul. The proposal to remake the U.S. healthcare system will face scrutiny from Warren’s more moderate Democratic opponents, who have questioned Medicare for All’s practicality. Warren’s proposal also calls for cuts in defense spending and passing immigration reform to increase tax revenue from newly legal Americans, two steps that would face an uphill battle in Congress.



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Democrat Warren: Medicare for All would not raise U.S. middle-class taxes 'one penny'

Democrat Warren: Medicare for All would not raise U.S. middle-class taxes 'one penny'NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on Friday proposed a $ 20.5 trillion Medicare for All plan that she said would not require raising middle-class taxes “one penny,” answering critics who had attacked her for failing to explain how she would pay for the sweeping healthcare system overhaul. The proposal to remake the U.S. healthcare system will face scrutiny from Warren’s more moderate Democratic opponents, who have questioned Medicare for All’s practicality.



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Democrat Warren: Medicare for All would not raise U.S. middle-class taxes 'one penny'

Democrat Warren: Medicare for All would not raise U.S. middle-class taxes 'one penny'NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on Friday proposed a $ 20.5 trillion Medicare for All plan that she said would not require raising middle-class taxes “one penny,” answering critics who had attacked her for failing to explain how she would pay for the sweeping healthcare system overhaul. The proposal to remake the U.S. healthcare system will face scrutiny from Warren’s more moderate Democratic opponents, who have questioned Medicare for All’s practicality.



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Biden Says Warren’s Medicare for All Plan Would Require $9 Trillion Middle-Class Tax Hike

Biden Says Warren’s Medicare for All Plan Would Require $  9 Trillion Middle-Class Tax HikePresidential candidate Joe Biden took a shot at the Medicare for All white paper released Friday by rival 2020 contender Senator Elizabeth Warren, saying her plan would require a nearly $ 9 trillion middle-class tax hike.“For months, Elizabeth Warren has refused to say if her health care plan would raise taxes on the middle class, and now we know why: because it does,” Biden's deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said. “Senator Warren would place a new tax of nearly $ 9 trillion that will fall on American workers.”Warren on Friday released the results of her campaign's numbers crunching on Medicare for All, which does not raise taxes on the middle class through an increase in income tax, but does include an almost $ 9 trillion tax on employers. The Massachusetts Democrat argues that the tax would simply replace the costs employers currently incur for their workers' health insurance — but Biden warned that cost will ultimately be passed along to rank-and-file employees.“There’s no two ways about it, we cannot defeat Donald Trump with double talk on health care — especially not about the impact and cost of a proposal to completely dismantle our health care system and eliminate employer-sponsored and all other private health insurance,” Bedingfield added.Biden has repeatedly criticized Warren's Medicare for All plan, which she claims would require $ 21 trillion in additional spending over ten years, which is significantly less than the cost projections for Senator Bernie Sanders' similar plan. The former vice president instead favors expanding the existing Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration’s signature legislative accomplishment, so that all Americans would be eligible to sign up.“My plan costs a lot,” Biden said from the Democratic debate stage in September. “But it doesn’t cost $ 30 trillion. That’s twice the entire federal budget before it exists now. How will we pay for it? I want to hear. [Warren] has not said how she’ll pay for it, and [Sanders] only gets about half way there. I lay out how I can pay for it and how I can get it done and why it’s better.”



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Michael Bennett Slams Warren’s Medicare for All Plan: The ‘New Numbers are Simply Not Believable’

Michael Bennett Slams Warren’s Medicare for All Plan: The ‘New Numbers are Simply Not Believable’Democratic senator and long shot presidential candidate Michael Bennet panned the new details of Senator Elizabeth Warren's Medicare for All plan on Friday, arguing that the cost estimates she provided simply won't cover the services her plan promises.“Voters are sick and tired of politicians promising them things that they know they can’t deliver," the Colorado senator said in a statement. "Warren's new numbers are simply not believable and have been contradicted by experts. Regardless of whether it's $ 21 trillion or $ 31 trillion, this isn't going to happen, and the American people need health care."Warren on Friday released the cost estimate of her plan, which increases federal spending by $ 21 trillion over the next ten years, a significant increase that is nevertheless cheaper than the $ 31 trillion increase attributed to Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All plan.The plan does not directly tax the middle class but does levy $ 9 trillion in additional taxes on employers over the next decade. The Massachusetts lawmaker argues that the employer tax would simply replace the cost employers currently incur to provide employee health insurance plans.Former Vice President Joe Biden, another 2020 contender, said the plan's nearly $ 9 trillion tax on employers would end up hitting middle class workers hardest as employers would simply pass them along to rank-and-file employees."The mathematical gymnastics in this plan are all geared towards hiding a simple truth from voters: it's impossible to pay for Medicare for All without middle-class tax increases," Biden's deputy communications director Kate Bedingfield said.Former Maryland congressman John Delaney, another long shot Democratic 2020 candidate, dismissed the plan as well, saying Warren's "numbers don't add up," but the "public options" plans more moderate Democrats have proposed are not enough."A 'public option' is a government run insurance company that does not go nearly far enough in addressing the inequality in our healthcare system," Delaney said in a pair of tweets on the issue. "We need universal healthcare; most developed nations have universal healthcare. But Medicare4all is a bad plan, BetterCare works."



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