SHOCK: CNN, MSNBC Battle Warren on Cost of Medicare-for-All

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning following the first night CNN's Democratic presidential primary debates, both the hosting network and MSNBC offered serious push back against far-left candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) over the cost of her version of Medicare-for-all.

CNN host Anderson Cooper pressed Warren on what her ideas would cost Americans, particularly union workers, who liked their health insurance. Meanwhile, MSNBC host Chris Matthews aggressively grilled the Senator about how sharply taxes would need to go up to pay for her plan, and he appeared frustrated at her refusal to answer the question (we know, we were shocked too).

Sparks were flying almost from the beginning of Matthew’s questioning after he pointed out that she and Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) were offering voters the moon when it came to healthcare. “There will have to be more money or your pay[-outs] won’t go up. You guys dodged that tonight,” he accused.

That kicked off a heated back and forth that lasted over two minutes (click “expand”):

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: No, no. It's not a dodge. It’s about where--

MATTHEWS: No, because Jake Tapper kept saying: How much of your taxes are going to go up and you said --

WARREN: How much are your costs going to go down.

MATTHEWS: No, no, no, different question. How much will your taxes go up?

WARREN: No. It's how much of your costs because it’s how much families end up spending.

MATTHEWS: I know that argument. I know how you cover it.

Matthews was growing visibly frustrated with Warren’s refusal to answer the question and brought up how she regarded it as a “Republican talking point”. “It's not a Republican talking point, it’s a question,” he huffed.

 

 

Warren repeatedly tried to reframe Matthew’s question as a matter of what people paid at the doctor’s office. The levels of noticeable snarkiness from Matthews seemed to increase as the repetitive argument dragged on (click “expand”):

WARREN: It's a question about where people are going to come out economically.

MATTHEWS: No, that’s not my question. That's not my question. My question is how much will taxes go up?

WARREN: I spent most of my life studying families that went broke and a huge chunk of it went broke because of high medical bills, and many of them had health insurance. So the question is not, “do you have health insurance or not health insurance?” The question is, “how much are you going to have to dig in your pocket to pay?”

MATTHEWS: I know that's the answer that you'd like to give. But will your taxes go up?

WARREN: No it is the Answer. The question is your total costs.

MATTHEWS: Okay, but there's no answer to the question, “will your taxes go up?”

WARREN: There is an answer to the question about the costs.

MATTHEWS: How about taxes?

“I’m not getting anywhere,” he finally relented in a mumble before moving on to the next question.

Meanwhile, on CNN, Cooper wanted to know about what Warren had to say to the union workers who had fought for and negotiated for their health insurance plans. “But to somebody out there who likes their health insurance that they have through their union or where ever it is, what do you say to them about what lies ahead? About why they should give up their private insurance,” he posed.

“It’s about, there’s going to be a transition to something that's better,” she huffed.

Cooper rejoined that it sounded like Warren was talking down to those individuals and saying they just didn’t understand:

But it sounds like you're saying to the person out there who likes health insurance now: “Well, you really—you just don't understand that it's actually not that good. That when push comes to shove it’s not going to be there for them.

It was both shocking and refreshing to see some actual journalism get done during the Democratic debates.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

CNN Debate Post Analysis: Night 1
July 31, 2019
12:02:43 a.m. Eastern

ANDERSON COOPER: But to somebody out there who likes their health insurance that they have through their union or where ever it is, what do you say to them about what lies ahead? About why they should give up their private insurance.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: You know; I really wish we would stop using Republican talking points on what people are giving up. This is about a transition and about how people get their healthcare covered.

(…)

COOPER: But it sound like you're saying to the person out there who likes health insurance now: “Well, you really—you just don't understand that it's actually not that good. That when push comes to shove it’s not going to be there for them.

WARREN: It’s about, there’s going to be a transition to something that's better. President Obama got us part way there. And, God, it made it a huge difference. People are alive today because we fought that fight.

(…)

12:08:23 a.m. Eastern

DAVID AXELROD: Well, I thought as I said earlier. I think they had a great night. I mean, in terms of repelling those people. And what Senator Warren said was true. I have questions about the viability of some of the proposals and I’ve said so. Medicare for all in the Sanders form is one that is a political liability.

She's right about the wealth tax. If you look at polling, that is an idea that actually-- more than raising taxes on the wealthy income taxes the wealth tax. The question is whether it's doable. And there's quiet a bit of debate about that.

(…)

AXELROD: I hesitate to say this to an eminent law professor. But my understanding is the argument is about legally how that would there are some cumbersome legal issues.

(…)

 

MSNBC’s Decision 2020: Post-Debate Analysis
July 31, 2019
12:27:48 a.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay, let's go to mechanism because it’s important. You'll get to this later in the campaign if not now. Medicare we've all been paying since I was 15 in the drug store I was paying Medicare. Up till 65. With the idea you'll survive maybe 15 more years. If you have Medicare for life or government health insurance, you’ll have to have more benefits and Bernie's talking about the eyeglasses, hearing aids, and everything. There will have to be more money or your pay won’t go up. You guys dodged that tonight.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: No, no. It's not a dodge. It’s about where--

MATTHEWS: No, because Jake Tapper kept saying: How much of your taxes are going to go up and you said --

WARREN: How much are your costs going to go down.

MATTHEWS: No, no, no, different question. How much will your taxes go up?

WARREN: No. It's how much of your costs because it’s how much families end up spending.

MATTHEWS: I know that argument. I know how you cover it.

WARREN: It’s not just an argument. You know, the Republicans did a study. And they hoped to show that Medicare for all was going to bust the budget. And you remember what it ended up showing? That Medicare for all is cheaper than our current system. That's the Republicans.

MATTHEWS: I know the argument that you put it all together, you reduce the costs for health care premiums and you get more benefits and therefore you come out ahead. But will you pay more in taxes? Why don't you want to answer that question? Because as Jake said tonight, that's a Republican talking point. It's not a Republican talking point, it’s a question.

WARREN: It's a question about where people are going to come out economically.

MATTHEWS: No, that’s not my question. That's not my question. My question is how much will taxes go up?

WARREN: I spent most of my life studying families that went broke and a huge chunk of it went broke because of high medical bills, and many of them had health insurance. So the question is not, “do you have health insurance or not health insurance?” The question is, “how much are you going to have to dig in your pocket to pay?”

MATTHEWS: I know that's the answer that you'd like to give. But will your taxes go up?

WARREN: No it is the Answer. The question is your total costs.

MATTHEWS: Okay, but there's no answer to the question, “will your taxes go up?”

WARREN: There is an answer to the question about the costs.

MATTHEWS: How about taxes?

WARREN: Because it's costs that matter to people.

MATTHEWS: I’m not getting anywhere.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Economy Taxes Health Care Political Groups Liberals & Democrats Cable Television CNN MSNBC Video Chris Matthews Anderson Cooper Elizabeth Warren

Sponsored Links