Buttigieg calls Warren 'evasive' on Medicare for all

Presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — House Dems advance drug pricing bill | Cases of vaping-related lung illnesses near 1,500 | Juul suspends sales of most e-cigarette flavors Warren raised more money from Big Tech employees than other 2020 Democrats: Report Poll: Biden, Warren support remains unchanged after Democratic debate MORE on Thursday called Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter knocks Zuckerberg for invoking her father while defending Facebook Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — House Dems advance drug pricing bill | Cases of vaping-related lung illnesses near 1,500 | Juul suspends sales of most e-cigarette flavors MORE (D-Mass.) "evasive" for not saying whether her health care plan would raise middle class taxes. 

Warren, a candidate for the Democratic party's presidential nomination, didn't directly answer a question asked by Stephen ColbertStephen Tyrone ColbertSusan Rice blasts Trump as 'total sell-out' for saying Kurds are 'more of a terrorist threat' than ISIS Susan Rice calls Trump decision to pull troops from Syria 'batshit crazy' Michelle Obama to release companion book to 'Becoming' MORE during an appearance on The Late Show Tuesday. 

"Senator Warren is known for being straightforward and was extremely evasive when asked that question, and we've seen that repeatedly," Buttigieg said Thursday during an interview on CNN. 

The mayor of South Bend, Ind., is polling close to 6 percent, according to the Real Clear Politics polling aggregate. 

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"I think that if you are proud of your plan and it's the right plan, you should defend it in straightforward terms," Buttigieg said. "And I think it's puzzling that when everybody knows the answer to that question of whether her plan and Senator Sanders's plan will raise middle class taxes is 'yes.' Why you wouldn't just say so, and then explain why you think that's the better way forward?"

Warren is polling in second place behind former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump accuses Biden of 'quid pro quo' hours after Mulvaney remarks Testimony from GOP diplomat complicates Trump defense MORE

Health care has become a top issue in the 2020 Democratic primary, with candidates fighting at length over "Medicare for All" in the debates.

Warren supports Medicare for All plan authored by fellow 2020 contender Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren raised more money from Big Tech employees than other 2020 Democrats: Report Krystal Ball reacts to Ocasio-Cortez endorsing Sanders: 'Class power over girl power' Saagar Enjeti praises Yang for bringing threat of automation to forefront at Ohio debate MORE (I-Vt.) 

The proposal would replace private health insurance with a single plan run by the government. 

But during the Democratic primary debates, Warren has avoided answering whether it would raise taxes on the middle class. 

"So, here's how we're going to do this. Costs are going to go up for the wealthiest Americans, for big corporations," Warren told Colbert on Tuesday. "And hard-working middle-class families are going to see their costs going down."

Sanders's bill doesn't lay out how the plan would be paid for.
 
But Warren argues that overall costs would decrease for those in the middle class because Medicare for All would eliminate the premiums, deductibles and co-pays many people currently pay for their insurance plans. 

But Buttigieg and others running for president, including Biden, have said Medicare for All eliminates choice for Americans who want to keep their private insurance. 

Buttigieg released his own health care plan Thursday, which would automatically enroll those without insurance. People who have insurance through their employer could keep their plans or join the new government plan.