Get this: In a presidential election where President Trump is campaigning on having the best economy in American history, two Democratic candidates are criticizing one another for not being socialist enough.
Trump can point to record high after record high in the stock market; he can highlight that unemployment across all demographics are the lowest they have ever been or are at their lowest levels in decades. Trump can mention that wages are increasing, taxes are being cut, and that there are currently more job openings throughout the country than there are even people looking for jobs.
Meanwhile, Senator Bernie Sanders is having to go on the offense against fellow Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren to contend he and his “Medicare for all” plan is “far more” progressive.
ABC News reports Sanders is pushing back on Warren’s latest proposal as it would have a “very negative impact” on job creation.
“The function of health care is to provide health care to all people, not to make $100 billion in profits for the insurance companies and the drug companies. So, Elizabeth Warren and I agree on that. We do disagree on how you fund it. I think the approach that (I) have, in fact, will be much more progressive in terms of protecting the financial well being of middle-income families,” Sanders said to ABC News’ Rachel Scott during a campaign stop in Iowa.
Sanders continued: “It would raise taxes on the middle class, but it would substantially reduce the cost of health care for the average American. Because we’re doing away with all premiums, copayments, deductibles and out of pocket expenses. So for the overwhelming majority of the American people, they would save and save substantially on their health care bills.”
“I think that that would probably have a very negative impact on creating those jobs, or providing wages, increased wages, and benefits for those workers,” Sanders continued per ABC News. “So I think we have a better way, which is a 7.5% payroll tax, which is far more I think progressive because it’ll not impact employers of low wage workers but hit significantly employers of upper-income people.”
Warren took the criticism in stride, fending off the claims during a question and answer segment with reporters during a campaign stop on Dubuque.
“All I can say is that employers will pay the same as they’re paying currently under Obamacare. In fact, they pay a little bit less. We stabilize it at 98% of what they’re paying right now and they won’t have to have HR departments that are wrestling with insurance companies. So this is something that’s going to help employers,” Warren said to the reporters.
“And the cost of having employers contribute to the health care has been built into the law since Obamacare passed in 2010. That’s just current law, nothing’s changing there,” she added. And, when asked whether her plan was progressive, she said: “I think it’s progressive when not a single person who makes less than a billion dollars has to pay one penny in additional taxes.”
“That’s going to be an enormous benefit for middle class families, for working families, for the working poor. Think what that’s going to mean to them,” the Massachusetts senator continued. “And think what it’s going to mean for small businesses. For these little tiny businesses that right now can’t afford to offer medical care for their employees, and that means they’re at a competitive disadvantage. Because it’s hard to attract people if you don’t offer health care. Think what it means for all the people who’ve wanted to start their own businesses but they’re afraid to walk away from their health insurance. They’re afraid they won’t be able to afford it on their own.”
Warren, in her comments, also defended her plan against a recent swipe from the Biden campaign.
“The cost projections that we have on Medicare were authenticated by President Obama’s head of Medicare. Our revenue projections were authenticated by President Obama’s labor economist. And the employer contribution is already part of the Affordable Care Act that President Obama put into the Affordable Care Act,” Warren told a group of reporters, the Hill reports. “So if Joe Biden doesn’t like that, I’m just not sure where he’s going.”
“It’s easy to give up on big ideas. It’s easy to sound smart and sophisticated when you just give up on those ideas. But here’s the deal. When we give up on big ideas, we give up on the people whose lives would be touched by those ideas. And those people are already in a fight. People who are struggling to pay their medical bills are already in a fight,” she also said.