Sanders: 'I don't think I have to' release details on paying for 'Medicare for All'

Sanders: 'I don't think I have to' release details on paying for 'Medicare for All'

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersIntercept bureau chief says congressional progressives looking to become stronger force in 2021 Obama book excerpt: 'Hard to deny my overconfidence' during early health care discussions Americans have a choice: Socialized medicine or health care freedom MORE (I-Vt.) said he doesn't think he needs to release more details about how to pay for his "Medicare for All" health care proposal.

During a wide-ranging interview with CNBC's John Harwood published Tuesday, Sanders dismissed the idea that he should explain in detail how he'd pay for his signature health plan.

"You're asking me to come up with an exact detailed plan of how every American — how much you're going to pay more in taxes, how much I'm going to pay. I don't think I have to do that right now," Sanders said.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Defense: Dems want hearing on DOD role on coronavirus vaccine | US and India sign data-sharing pact | American citizen kidnapped in Niger Conservative operatives Wohl, Burkman charged in Ohio over false robocalls Senate Democrats want hearing on Pentagon vaccine effort MORE (D-Mass.), another top-tier Democratic presidential contender, has said she will soon release a plan to pay for her Medicare for All proposal after facing criticism for evading questions about the potential tax implications for the middle class.

Warren was a co-sponsor of Sanders’s bill in the Senate, and during one of the presidential debates said she is “with Bernie” on health care.  

Sanders has been upfront that Medicare for All would involve raising taxes on the middle class as well as on the wealthy but has not fully explained where the revenue for his plan would come from.

Sanders last spring released a list of financing suggestions for his updated Medicare for All legislation, but the list would only cover about half the cost. A conservative group estimated Medicare for All would cost about $33 trillion over a decade, but Sanders has said that amount is inflated. 

When pressed by Harwood about where he would get the other half of the funding, Sanders said he was confident the plan would be fully paid for. 

“All that I’m saying is that we have laid out a variety of options that are progressive. We’ll have that debate,” Sanders said. “At the end of the day, we will pay for every nickel of Medicare for All, and it will save the overwhelming majority of the American people, who will no longer pay premiums.”

Medicare for All supporters say that while taxes may increase, the plan would save most Americans money in the long term by using the federal government to force health care providers to lower prices.