- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Sen. Elizabeth Warren will have to raise taxes on middle-class families to fund her health care plans, a nonpartisan budget watchdog said Tuesday, countering her claims — but those families could still come out ahead, depending on how the system is restructured.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said it crunched the numbers on a few different types of Medicare for All proposals, and found that all of them would require tax hikes going well beyond the wealthy.

Indeed, plans to sock high-earners and businesses would only account for about 40% of the cost, the CRFB concluded, meaning the rest would have to be made up out of middle-class and low-income family incomes.

But the watchdog said it’s possible that with savings in health care costs — not having to pay premiums and out-of-pocket expenses — those on the lower end could end up saving more than they pay in higher taxes. It’s is impossible to say until the plans are released in more detain, the CRFB said.

“There is simply not enough available revenue from high earners and businesses to cover the full cost of eliminating premiums, ending all cost-sharing, and expanding coverage to all Americans and for (virtually) all health services,” the watchdog said. “But in exchange, the absence of premiums and cost-sharing could represent a net gain or loss to individuals’ finances depending on how much they currently pay, how much they currently make, and how the ultimate financing is structured.”

The CRFB said it puts the cost of universal government-sponsored health care at $30 trillion.

Raising the top income tax rate to 70% and applying it to families that earn $250,000 or more, doubling the corporate tax rate, imposing a new tax on financial transactions and creating a new wealth tax will only sweat about $11 trillion over the next decade.

Ms. Warren has signed onto the idea of Medicare for All, pioneered by fellow 2020 presidential hopeful Sen. Bernard Sanders.

But in last week’s debate, Ms. Warren batted aside claims from fellow candidates that she’s misleading voters by suggesting her plan can be paid on the backs of the rich, without tagging the middle class.

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