One of the chief rallying cries of the progressive movement is “Medicare for All,” or the elimination of private health insurance in favor of a government-run health care industry. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist politician representing Vermont as an independent, was considered the first politician to propose the plan. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) followed suit and made several changes of her own, without providing a price tag for her version of the plan.
After much public backlash and outcry over her plan, which would eliminate private health insurance against the wishes of American public opinion, Warren backtracked and changed her plan. She released a more detailed plan of how she will implement her version of Medicare for All once elected as president.
The changes rely on passing two bills through Congress, which would be a monumental task for any president due to the unpredictability of congressional representation. Warren could be in the White House, but if Republicans hold a majority in either the Senate or House of Representatives, her plan could be dead-on-arrival.
CNBC said that the first piece of legislation would be a bill that would force Americans to buy into Medicare for All or be covered for free under Senate budget rules. Warren planned to delay the abolishing of private insurance until her third year in office, which would be 2023. In that third year, Warren would try to pass another bill to transition the country completely to Medicare for All.
The media did not air much criticism of Warren’s sudden shift in her Medicare for All plan. CNBC’s headline read, “Elizabeth Warren releases plan to transition to ‘Medicare for All’ in her first term,” which is fair yet did not highlight how her plan was a stark change from her previous version. The New York Times had a more accurate headline, which said, “Elizabeth Warren’s Backup Backup Health Plan,” which appropriately illustrated how Warren’s team scrambled to allay criticism over her previous plan. CNN’s article ran with the headline, “Elizabeth Warren releases plan to implement Medicare for All during first term in office.”