Top Democrat defends 'Medicare for All' after Pelosi's critical remarks

House Budget Committee Chairman John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthBudget hawks frustrated by 2020 politics in entitlement reform fight On The Money: Deficit spikes 25 percent through January | Mnuchin declines to say why Trump pulled Treasury nominee who oversaw Roger Stone case | Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts MORE (D-Ky.) on Monday defended "Medicare for All" after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Stone judge under pressure over calls for new trial MORE (D-Calif.) said she was "not a big fan" of the health care proposal backed by progressives.

“The electorate is becoming a much different electorate than even five years ago,” Yarmuth, who is a co-sponsor of Medicare for All legislation, told Hill.TV. “The electorate is becoming much younger, much more liberal and those voters are going to speak out.”

Yarmuth also predicted that the 2020 election would be less "policy-focused" and more of a "referendum" on Trump.

Pelosi has previously declined to endorse Medicare for All, arguing that its price tag and elimination of private insurance may not be popular with voters.

Yarmuth said he understood where Pelosi was coming from on the issue, noting that the 2010 Affordable Care Act was a major legislative achievement for her during the Obama administration.

“Her legacy is the Affordable Care Act and I think she’d like to see that at least solidified and generally acknowledged as being a successful approach before she goes to Medicare for All,” he said.

Medicare for All has become a point of contention within the Democratic Party, particularly among White House hopefuls.

Much of the disagreement has focused on cost, including whether the proposal would raise taxes on the middle class. One of the leading proponents of the legislation, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. Hillicon Valley: Dems cancel surveillance vote after pushback to amendments | Facebook to ban certain coronavirus ads | Lawmakers grill online ticketing execs | Hacker accessed facial recognition company's database Push for national popular vote movement gets boost from conservatives MORE (D-Mass.), addressed the cost issue last week by releasing further details, which said would not include higher or new taxes on middle class households.

—Tess Bonn