Warren Worries: MSNBC Nervous About Dem’s ‘Unrealistic’ Plan 'Scaring a lot of People'

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Throughout MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday, host Mika Brzezinski and her panel of liberal pundits repeatedly fretted over far-left 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren proposing a radical $50 trillion Medicare-for-all plan. Brzezinski, who has been an adoring fan of Warren, warned that the extreme plan was “unrealistic,” “confusing,” and “as likely to pass as Mexico paying for the wall.”

The Wall Street Journal just skewers Elizabeth Warren’s plan to pay for Medicare-for-all and I would think this would be catnip for like the Biden campaign and for Republicans,” Brzezinski highlighted during the 6:00 a.m. ET hour of the show. She then proceeded to read from the editorial:

Start with the overall fiscal math, which by itself is staggering. She concedes that her plan will cost only slightly less than the 52 trillion that the U.S. is expected to spend on health care in the next ten years. She deducts from that what the feds now spend on Medicare and Medicaid, plus six trillion that the states contribute to Medicaid, the state federal children’s health program and government worker benefits. That leaves $30 trillion to finance. But Senator Warren waves her wand and says the bill will really be 20.5 trillion.

 

 

Brzezinski even added her own objections: “...this does seem unrealistic, it seems confusing. People have been through a lot with health care, they don’t like another huge change that could be risky to them actually receiving health care.”

Political analyst Michael Steele observed:

I think that’s well put, Mika, because throughout the battle of ObamaCare, there was always this uneasiness about what it meant and what it would do to individuals, their families, their businesses, et cetera....Elizabeth Warren now comes along and says, “We’re going to upend the entire thing and layer on top of that another $10 or 20 trillion.” I don’t think that’s going to be an easy sell in any stretch of the imagination...

“The numbers are hard to comprehend,” Brzezinski admitted.

Minutes later, Morning Joe regular Mike Barnicle turned to Associated Press White House reporter Jonathan Lemire and declared: “...the idea that anybody who has ever dealt with the Registry of Motor Vehicles in their state, any government apparatus, the idea of handing over your health care to the federal government is scaring a lot of people.”

Lemire acknowledged: “With Warren, you have questions about the cost and feasibility of this health care plan. Do Americans really want the federal government telling them what they have to do in terms of insurance?”

In the 7:00 a.m. ET hour, fellow MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle appeared on the program and imagined how President Trump would run against Warren: “...all he needs to do is convince the American people, ‘You know what Elizabeth Warren is gonna do? It might not be great with me, it’ll be a disaster with her.’” Ruhle complained: “What he’s saying isn’t true literally, but when it comes to sentiment, and people vote based on how they feel, it could be a positive for him.”

“And I do think there’s a real weakness for the Democrats if it’s Elizabeth Warren and her plan that he’s up against,” Brzezinski interjected.

Talking to The Washington Post’s Robert Costa minutes later, Brzezinski wondered: “And how excited is the Trump White House that Elizabeth Warren released her trillion, trillion, trillion dollar plan to pay for Medicare-for-all, to try and distract?”

Costa attempted to reassure his liberal media colleagues:

On the surface, Senator Warren’s plan is drawing many Republicans in to cheer and to say, “Oh, she’s running too far to the left.” But based on my reporting, private conversations with top Republicans, there’s more alarm about Senator Warren’s ascendancy than they like to let on publicly. Because they see her as a candidate of radical change. President Trump, in the Republicans’ eyes, was also a candidate of radical change in 2016. And there is some angst behind the scenes that she could steal that change mantel if she’s the Democratic nominee and cast herself as a populist, an outsider, she’s running on, quote, “big structural change,” and she would take some of that change mantel away from President Trump, should she be the Democratic nominee.

During an interview in the 8:00 a.m. ET hour with one of Warren’s competitors, Pete Buttigieg, Brzezinski feared: “I want to talk about Elizabeth Warren revealing her plans to pay for her Medicare-for-all plan. Looking at the numbers, some would say this is as likely to pass as Mexico paying for the wall.” She then asked: “Is there a concern with the Democratic frontrunner, potentially the nominee, putting out ideas that are fanciful in the age of Trump?”

When the left-wing Massachusetts Senator has even lost some of her most ardent supporters on MSNBC, it shows how far out of the mainstream she has become.

Here are excerpts of the November 4 coverage on Morning Joe:

6:29 AM ET

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Michael Steele, The Wall Street Journal just skewers Elizabeth Warren’s plan to pay for Medicare-for-all and I would think this would be catnip for like the Biden campaign and for Republicans. I’ll just read one part of it. “Start with the overall fiscal math, which by itself is staggering. She concedes that her plan will cost only slightly less than the 52 trillion that the U.S. is expected to spend on health care in the next ten years. She deducts from that what the feds now spend on Medicare and Medicaid, plus six trillion that the states contribute to Medicaid, the state federal children’s health program and government worker benefits. That leaves $30 trillion to finance. But Senator Warren waves her wand and says the bill will really be 20.5 trillion.” It goes on.

The question I have for you is that I think people are clued into this type of thing. Just like the polls show that the Ukraine scandal is actually something that computes as not good, that the cost of this does seem unrealistic, it seems confusing. People have been through a lot with health care, they don’t like another huge change that could be risky to them actually receiving health care.

MICHAEL STEELE: I think that’s – I think that’s well put, Mika, because throughout the battle of ObamaCare, there was always this uneasiness about what it meant and what it would do to individuals, their families, their businesses, et cetera.

(...)

STEELE: Elizabeth Warren now comes along and says, “We’re going to upend the entire thing and layer on top of that another $10 or 20 trillion.” I don’t think that’s going to be an easy sell in any stretch of the imagination, particularly given how hard it was to sell ObamaCare, which was a plan that Republicans originally proposed. So it just – it’s gonna be a very difficult slope and she’s still, at the end of the day, I don’t think fully answers the question, will the middle class have to pay that $10 trillion gap? I think they will. The numbers on paper work, but you know what, reality is, it’s very different.

BRZEZINSKI: The numbers are hard to comprehend.

(...)

6:33 AM ET

MIKE BARNICLE: Jonathan Lemire, Steve’s [Kornacki] numbers that he just read off to us, Michigan, [Warren] down by six to Donald Trump. It’s a big union state, the United Auto Workers have a very good health care plan. You can understand the minus six for Elizabeth Warren there. There’s also another aspect to her plan, which is clearly well thought out. A lot of people are going to disagree with it, a lot of people are gonna agree with it. One element of it that struck me this weekend in talking to a couple of people up near where you grew up Jonathan, incidentally, is the idea that anybody who has ever dealt with the Registry of Motor Vehicles in their state, any government apparatus, the idea of handing over your health care to the federal government is scaring a lot of people. So those twin things, I think, I don’t know.

JONATHAN LEMIRE [ASSOCIATED PRESS WHITE HOUSE REPORTER]: Well, I think the good folks of Lowell, Massachusetts or nearby would certainly give you an honest answer, Mike Barnicle. They won’t be shy of sharing their opinions, if that’s indeed where you were the last couple of days.

But yeah, I think that’s exactly right. I think that Elizabeth – there are huge questions that surround all of these candidates here. And look, these national polls obviously are – look really good for Democrats, but it’s not a poll about – it’s not a race about national polls. I think the Trump campaign fully anticipates that they’ll lose the popular vote by more in 2020 than they did in 2016. With Warren, you have questions about the cost and feasibility of this health care plan. Do Americans really want the federal government telling them what they have to do in terms of insurance?

(...)

7:07 AM ET

STEPHANIE RUHLE: President Trump, when it comes to the economy, is an excellent salesman. We can tell you all day long, “Look at the data.” President Trump was delivered a very strong economy from Obama, which he was. What President Obama didn’t do was sell it very well. President Trump does. And whether you are talking small or large business sentiment, it is up with President Trump in office and all he needs to do is convince the American people, “You know what Elizabeth Warren is gonna do? It might not be great with me, it’ll be a disaster with her.” What he’s saying isn’t true literally, but when it comes to sentiment, and people vote based on how they feel, it could be a positive for him.

BRZEZINSKI: So, Peter, bouncing off that, President Trump does say sometimes often what’s not true, even about the economy, and there is this personality cult. And I do think there’s a real weakness for the Democrats if it’s Elizabeth Warren and her plan that he’s up against.

PETER SPIEGEL [U.S. MANAGING EDITOR, FINANCIAL TIMES]: That’s true.

(...)

7:20 AM ET

BRZEZINSKI: And how excited is the Trump White House that Elizabeth Warren released her trillion, trillion, trillion dollar plan to pay for Medicare-for-all, to try and distract?

ROBERT COSTA: On the surface, Senator Warren’s plan is drawing many Republicans in to cheer and to say, “Oh, she’s running too far to the left.” But based on my reporting, private conversations with top Republicans, there’s more alarm about Senator Warren’s ascendancy than they like to let on publicly. Because they see her as a candidate of radical change. President Trump, in the Republicans’ eyes, was also a candidate of radical change in 2016. And there is some angst behind the scenes that she could steal that change mantel if she’s the Democratic nominee and cast herself as a populist, an outsider, she’s running on, quote, “big structural change,” and she would take some of that change mantel away from President Trump, should she be the Democratic nominee.

(...)

8:27 AM ET

BRZEZINSKI: I want to talk about Elizabeth Warren revealing her plans to pay for her Medicare-for-all plan. Looking at the numbers, some would say this is as likely to pass as Mexico paying for the wall. Is there a concern with the Democratic frontrunner, potentially the nominee, putting out ideas that are fanciful in the age of Trump?

PETE BUTTIGIEG: I do think that, you know, one of the hallmarks of the Democratic Party should be our seriousness and we need to make sure that everything we propose makes sense.

(...)

BRZEZINSKI: So Mayor Pete, how would you characterize her plan? You said that these – what you guys put forward needs to be serious. Is it not serious?

BUTTIGIEG: Well, what I would say is that we need to make sure that there is an ironclad explanation of how to fund things.

(...)

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