Massachusetts Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren backed off of Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan in leaked video of a private meeting with union officials, saying “it’s not that I have a plan that says we’re going to do this part and then we’re going to do this part,” but that “we’re going to get to a table like this.”
But Mediaite has obtained leaked video from an August 23 meeting with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union executive board in which Warren is considerably more vague about the plan.
“The way I see it is we need to know what the goal is, and that goal has got to be that we’ve got to be in a place where we get coverage for everybody at the lowest possible cost,” Warren said, adding that “that’s Medicare for All.”
After spending a minute criticizing the current healthcare system, Warren said “So we’ve got to figure out — that’s where we’re headed, now how do we get there?”
And for me, I think of it like that way I think of trade, and that is, it matters who is at the table. I want to make sure that the folks who are at the table are folks who don’t have health care coverage – I want to make sure they’re there – but also folks who do have health care coverage. I want to make sure the unions are there. And I know not all of the unions are on the same place because they have members that have — they’re in different places on health care.This is going to be a process that is fundamentally about respecting the fact that we’ve got to work together on this. For those for whom it is already part of their compensation package, then we’ve got to think about adjustments in the law that make sure, not just out of the goodness of their hearts, that some employers will make up the difference, but that that is part of the legal structure.For people who don’t have any coverage, we’ve got to make sure that they’re represented about how fast we can get them into the system, so when I hear people say, well, we’ll do 55, 50, 45, well that’s great if you have health insurance. We’ve got to find a way to get people into Medicare for All as quickly as we can.So, it’s not that I have a plan that says we’re going to do this part and then we’re going to do this part and then we’re going to do this part. No, instead my plan is we’re going to get to a table like this. We’re going to make sure that everybody gets represented. We’re going to understand the urgency of the moment to get this solved with people who aren’t covered, and get ourselves on a path where everybody can get there and everybody can get covered at the lowest possible cost. That’s what Medicare for All is all about.
Warren has also signaled that she will be parting ways with Sanders on how to fund the program, but has not figured out how to do that yet. On Sunday, Warren told reporters “I’ve been working for a long time on this question about what the cost will be and how to pay for it, and I’m getting close.”
And Fox News reporter Peter Doocy pressed Warren on Monday, asking “Why should caucus goers be confident that it’s possible to pay for Medicare-For-All at all if the leading Democratic candidate needs a couple more weeks to tell them how it’s going to get paid?:
“Well, why don’t you ask me that when the plan is out?” Warren replied. She told supporters in Iowa that the plan would be ready in “a few weeks.”
Watch the video above, via ILWU.