In last night’s Democratic primary debate, many of the candidates doubled down on their support of Medicare for All. Despite the plan’s wild unpopularity with voters, this Democratic talking point has been a mainstay for many candidates, especially Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The senators, respectively polling in second and third, have placed “free” stuff at the center of their campaigns, and each assure voters that banning private insurance and forcing all onto a government health care plan is the ideal situation, despite similar policies’ disastrous results in other countries.
The one candidate who appeared to understand at least something about the inherent problems with such expensive and overreaching health care plans is frontrunner Joe Biden. After Warren awkwardly evaded answering a question about whether her plan would increase taxes on the middle class, Biden swung, questioning the feasibility of her plan.
He pointed out her proposed plan would likely cost around $3.2 trillion each year, at least doubling federal spending, and no plan has expressed how to feasibly pay for such an expense. Sanders’ plan only accounts for about half of the expense, while Warren has expressed no means by which to fund the hefty cost. Further, he highlighted that their plans would guarantee an increase in taxes on the middle class, answering the question Warren endeavored to avoid.
Biden took tonight’s debate to differentiate himself from the increasingly left candidates, and came out the better for it. On a stage where suggesting that people have the option to keep their private insurance if they so choose is a moderate stance, Biden made his proposed expansion of the wildly unsuccessful Obamacare to the tune of $740 billion briefly sound reasonable.
With rumors swirling of Biden losing his lead to Warren, a strong takedown of a key component of her platform may just be what the VP’s campaign needed to regain momentum.