Warren Struggles To Answer When Pressed By Colbert On Whether ‘Medicare for All’ Will Raise Taxes On Middle Class

CBS screenshot.

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
Font Size:

Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren had difficulty explaining how the government would pay for a “Medicare for All” system, a big part of her platform and campaign.

The Democratic presidential candidate was on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Tuesday night when the oft-asked question came up. Colbert called the universal medicare plan “the most radical” policy in Warren’s political platform and suggested she has been less than willing to admit that middle-class Americans are going to have to pay more taxes to sustain the program.

Warren has unloaded a cornucopia of spending proposals since announcing her candidacy for president in February. She is in favor of reparations for descendants of slaves and also thinks LGBTQ people should be offered some form of compensation from taxpayers.

“[T]here hasn’t been ‘Medicare for All’ before. You keep being asked in the debates, how are you going to pay for it? Are you going to raise the middle class taxes?” Colbert asked. (RELATED: Elizabeth Warren Promises ‘Full Range’ Of Federally-Funded ‘Reproductive Rights’ For Men)

Warren agreed that she had been asked that question before, saying, “So here’s how we’re going to do this. Costs are going to go up for the wealthiest Americans, for big corporations.”

“Taxes which is what you mean by ‘costs?'” Colbert asked.

Warren replied, “Yes” before insisting that “hardworking middle-class families are going to see their cost goes down.”

Colbert asked again if taxes would go up, to which Warren said, “Here’s the thing …” (RELATED: Elizabeth Warren Says She’ll Decriminalize Crossing The Border)

The nighttime talk host then supplied Warren with some talking points, suggesting she compare health care to education and say that “there might be taxes” for public education but “you save money sending your kids to school.”

Warren thought that was sound reasoning.

“I accept your point and believe in your point. Health care is a basic human right,” she said. “We fight for basic human rights, and that’s ‘Medicare for All.’ Everyone gets covered. But here’s how I looked at it. I spent a big chunk of my career studying why families go broke. And a big reason that families go broke is health care.”