Warren takes fire from rivals on cost of 'Medicare for All'

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats seize on Trump's firing of intelligence community watchdog Biden says his administration could help grow 'bench' for Democrats Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill MORE (D-Mass.) took fire from her Democratic rivals in Tuesday night’s debate over her "Medicare for All" proposal and her refusal to explicitly say whether middle class taxes will increase. 

Warren, who has surged in recent weeks into a leading position in many polls, did not directly answer a question about whether middle class taxes would go up to pay for her Medicare for All plan, reiterating her stance that total costs for the middle class would go down once the elimination of premiums and deductibles is taken into account. 

But South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg launches new PAC to aid down-ballot candidates HuffPost political reporter on why Bernie fell way behind Biden Economists fear slow pace of testing will prolong recession MORE, who is looking to gain ground on his progressive rivals with a plan to allow people the option of private or public insurance, took Warren to task for what he described as “a yes or no question that didn’t get a yes or no answer.”

“Your signature, senator, is to have a plan for everything, except this,” he added, noting that Warren has endorsed Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSome Sanders top allies have urged him to withdraw from 2020 race: report We're at war and need wartime institutions to keep our economy producing what's necessary Larry David: Bernie Sanders should drop out of 2020 race MORE’s (I-Vt.) Medicare for All plan instead of developing her own. 

Buttigieg also said Medicare for All would “obliterate private plans.”

Warren shot back with a strong defense of a full-scale Medicare for All plan, deriding Buttigieg’s optional approach as “Medicare for all who can afford it.”

“Medicare for All is the gold standard,” Warren said, adding, “I will not embrace a plan like Medicare for all who can afford it.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharBiden says his administration could help grow 'bench' for Democrats Democrats fear coronavirus impact on November turnout Hillicon Valley: Zoom draws new scrutiny amid virus fallout | Dems step up push for mail-in voting | Google to lift ban on political ads referencing coronavirus MORE (D-Minn.), a moderate, called Medicare for All a “pipe dream.”

Sanders, the author of Medicare for All, said it is “appropriate to acknowledge that taxes will go up,” in a break from Warren. But he argued that overall costs for the middle class will go down once premiums and deductibles are eliminated.