Biden campaign slams Warren's health care transition plan: It's full of 'flips and twists'

Biden campaign slams Warren's health care transition plan: It's full of 'flips and twists'
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe media have fallen out of love with Bernie, but have voters? Top Zelensky aide refutes Sondland testimony The great AI debate: What candidates are (finally) saying about artificial intelligence MORE’s White House campaign panned Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe media have fallen out of love with Bernie, but have voters? Buttigieg surrogate on candidate's past consulting work: 'I don't think it matters' Steyer rolls out 5B plan to invest in historically black colleges MORE’s (D-Mass.) new plan to transition the country to a “Medicare for All” system, accusing her of trying to “muddy the waters.”

“Having discovered how problematic her embrace of Medicare for All has become — its ending of private health coverage, its punishment of states and employers who have done the right thing, its elimination of millions of jobs, its tax increase on the middle class — Senator Warren is now trying to muddy the waters even further,” Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said in a statement. 

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“What started out as ‘mathematical gymnastics’ have been replaced by a full program of flips and twists covering every element of her plan,” she added. “This latest plan will also delay the introduction of her full Medicare for All proposal as far as three years into her term, after the midterms — a move that doesn't exactly address the urgency of now.” 

Biden, the leading centrist in the crowded 2020 primary field, has repeatedly butted heads with Warren, a vocal progressive who is widely seen as a chief challenger in the nominating contest.

The former vice president has frequently gone after her Medicare for All plan, which would eliminate private insurance and, he and other critics claim, raise taxes on middle class families. 

However, Warren says her $20.5 trillion proposal would not include tax hikes on the middle class.

The Massachusetts lawmaker released a plan Friday that would gradually move the country toward Medicare for All over the course of three years. 

Her transition process would include building support for Medicare for All in her first 100 days in office, with the first step entailing passing legislation to boost the availability of government-run insurance while temporarily allowing people to keep their private insurance plans.

“Her latest Friday news dump on this subject doesn't change the reality that Medicare for All will deny Americans the right to choose their insurance by eliminating employer-sponsored insurance, punish employers and states who have done right by their employees by providing robust health care plans and raising taxes for working people in this country,” Bedingfield said.

Biden has proposed his own plan to expand the Affordable Care Act and offer a public option to those who choose to rely on a government-run plan.

Health care has emerged as a microcosm of the intraparty battle raging between centrists and progressives, with moderates like Biden fearing Medicare for All is too liberal and will turn off swing voters, while progressives say bold plans are needed to energize the party’s base.

“We’re not going to beat Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe MORE next year with double talk on health care, and we’re not going to beat him with a plan that hikes taxes on the middle-class, kicks Americans off their private insurance, and kills millions of jobs," Bedingfield said.

"That’s why Joe Biden’s plan builds on Obamacare by giving everyone the choice to join a Medicare-like public option and expanding access and subsidies to make health care affordable for all Americans," she added.