After avoiding questions about her plan to pay for Medicare for All throughout the campaign, Elizabeth Warren has finally unveiled a new tax plan to do just that.
The plan would:
- Raise $2.3 trillion with stricter foreign tax compliance, instituting a country-by-country minimum tax on foreign earnings of 35%—equal to a restored top corporate tax rate for U.S. firms—and forbidding deferrals of those payments
- Raise another $400 billion by legalizing undocumented immigrants and requiring them to pay taxes.
- Turn the “temporary” Overseas Contingency Operations fund into a permanent Medicare for All liability.
But before Warren and her team attempted to come up with this plan to pay for Medicare for All, they lowered the bar as much as they could. Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur reports:
The plan would redirect most employer-based health care spending to the government so it can put all Americans into Medicare, while slapping a wave of taxes on large corporations and the wealthy, cracking down on tax evasion, reducing defense spending, and putting newly legalized immigrants on the tax rolls.
Her advisers also lowered the estimate of Medicare for All’s price-tag to $20.5 trillion over 10 years from the $34 trillion the Urban Institute predicted, by using the new Medicare-for-All negotiating power to slash administrative spending, drug prices and provider payments.
The proposals stake out Warren’s clearest position yet on a deeply divisive issue of paramount importance for voters. Rather than devise a health-care plan of her own, she made the strategic decision to adopt that of fellow progressive candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders, but until now, hasn’t said how she’d pay for it.
After the boom in economic activity following the recent Tax Reform of 2017, Warren and her advisors should consider that if she raises taxes on all the same corporations who just had their rates lowered, they may not invest as much, generate as much income, and therefore, not pay as many taxes, leaving her Medicare for All plan unfunded.
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