Biden slams Sanders over cost of 'Medicare for All'

Biden slams Sanders over cost of 'Medicare for All'
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal Biden vaccine rule sets stage for onslaught of lawsuits MORE on Friday attacked Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Five things to watch in two Ohio special election primaries MORE (I-Vt.) over the cost of his signature "Medicare for All" plan during a debate in New Hampshire.

Biden noted that Sanders likes to say he “wrote the damn bill” on Medicare for All, but “he’s unwilling to say what the damn thing’s gonna cost.”

While Biden has attacked Medicare for All before, his criticism on Friday was more forceful than usual as he fell out of the top tier in Iowa and Sanders and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegSunday shows - Delta variant, infrastructure dominate Sunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate Chasten Buttigieg: DC 'almost unaffordable' MORE rose. 


Biden pointed to a CBS interview in January when Sanders said “nobody knows” the cost of his Medicare for All plan. The former vice president also said Sanders’s attitude is “we’ll find out later” what the cost is. 

Multiple studies have put the cost around $32 trillion over 10 years, a daunting sum. 

Sanders countered that total costs would go down for middle class people because they would no longer have to pay premiums and deductibles, which would more than offset the higher taxes to pay for the plan. 

Sanders said his plan would “save the average American substantial sums of money,” so that it would be “much less expensive than [Biden's] plan” for the average person. 

Biden and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharManchin 'can't imagine' supporting change to filibuster for voting rights Hillicon Valley: Democrats urge tech CEOs to combat Spanish disinformation | Amazon fined 6M by EU regulators Democrats urge tech CEOs to combat Spanish disinformation MORE (D-Minn.) both drew applause from the audience for their attacks on Medicare for All. 


Klobuchar, another moderate along with Biden, noted that Sanders does not have support for his plan even among most Democrats in the Senate.

“Two thirds of the Democrats in the Senate are not on your bill,” Klobuchar said. 

Biden also pointed to the struggles Sanders’s home state of Vermont had in trying to implement a state-level Medicare for All system, an idea it dropped in 2014 after the tax increases were deemed too high. 

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenAmerica's middle class is getting hooked on government cash — and Democrats aren't done yet California Democrats warn of low turnout in recall election Pelosi disputes Biden's power to forgive student loans MORE (D-Mass.), who has taken fire from multiple sides on Medicare for All, tried to relay a more unifying message on the subject.

“We are the Democrats, we are on the side of expanding health care,” she said, while pointing to unilateral action she would take to lower drug prices on her first day in office.