Buttigieg calls Warren 'evasive' on Medicare for all

Presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegOvernight Energy: Sanders scores highest on green group's voter guide | Trump's latest wins for farmers may not undo trade damage | Amazon employees defy company to speak on climate change Sanders surges to first in New Hampshire: poll Majority sees no ties between business experience and political success MORE on Thursday called Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' On The Money: Stocks close with steep losses driven by coronavirus fears | Tax season could bring more refund confusion | Trump's new wins for farmers may not undo trade damage Overnight Energy: Sanders scores highest on green group's voter guide | Trump's latest wins for farmers may not undo trade damage | Amazon employees defy company to speak on climate change 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 ColbertInvesting in our people to get the most out of our city Yang: I've received about 12 apologies from media networks during campaign Scarborough to GOP: 'What job is worth selling your political soul over?' 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: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report Dershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense 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 SandersGOP Iowa senator suggests Trump impeachment defense could hurt Biden at caucuses On The Money: Stocks close with steep losses driven by coronavirus fears | Tax season could bring more refund confusion | Trump's new wins for farmers may not undo trade damage Sanders launches first TV ads in Nevada 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.