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Elizabeth Warren’s new Medicare for All plan is confusing! Let us break it down for you. 

Elizabeth Warren’s new Medicare for All plan is confusing! Let us break it down for you. 
[Photo: Flickr user Gage Skidmore]

Senator Elizabeth Warren dropped her Medicare for All plan this morning in a 9,500-word Medium post. (For comparison, this post is 380 words.) Allow us to save you some reading time and break down the numbers.

The take-home message: The senator from Massachusetts and 2020 presidential candidate proposes to provide all Americans with coverage without raising taxes for the middle class. She is mostly accomplishing this by rerouting the money that governments and employers spend on health insurance to fund the program, as well as decreasing military spending, cracking down on tax evasion and fraud, and taxing Everyone With Money: the wealthy, financial firms, and large corporations.

Why she says this is essential: 1 in 4 Americans are uninsured or underinsured; medical costs are the number one reason families go broke; 1 in 9 Americans didn’t fill a prescription or see a doctor last year because they couldn’t afford it; families of four spend $12,378 a year on healthcare on average.

Key detail: Her proposed taxes on Everyone With Money will essentially replace most of your current healthcare costs. Yes, you read that correctly: FREE-TO-THE-PEOPLE Health Insurance. Or nearly free.

Where most of the money is coming from

Continuing our current healthcare system would cost $52 trillion over 10 years. Warren’s plan will cost the same amount—but insure everyone while axing family healthcare costs to near zero. Here’s where the money would come from each year:
  • $2.3 trillion: Income from collecting taxes currently not paid due to evasion and fraud, which is roughly 15% of all taxes.
  • $3.8 trillion: Fees on financial firms and large companies, including a financial transaction fee such as a small tax (one-tenth of 1%) on sales of stocks, bonds, and derivatives, assessed on firms (not investors). She also proposes removing some corporate tax loopholes.
  • $8.8 trillion: Taxes on companies, meant to reroute what they currently pay anyway for employee health insurance. Warren says they would save $20 billion a year.
  • $3 trillion: Taxes on the wealthy, including 6 cents per dollar on all net worth over $1 billion, as well as a 1% tax on capital gains every year, for which the tax rate would rise to income tax levels.
  • $80 billion: Most of what is currently allocated ($116 billion) for the military Overseas Contingency Operations fund each year, a “slush fund” that makes up roughly 10% of all federal discretionary spending. Warren proposes shutting it down and repurposing most of it toward insurance.

You can check out the full post here.

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