Elizabeth Warren Was Busted for Saying She Didn’t Support Single Payer During Senate Campaign (VIDEO)
Massachusetts Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is signaling a pivot away from Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All,” but it wouldn’t be the first time she distanced herself from single payer during an election campaign.
After months of being “with Bernie on Medicare for All,” Warren has shown signs of supporting… something that isn’t that. After the last debate, Warren said she supports “a lot of plans,” and more recently referred to Medicare for All as a “framework,” and said “We’ve got a lot of work to do on it.”
Where that pivot will take her is anyone’s guess, but this wouldn’t be the first time Warren made this kind of move. During her 2012 Senate campaign, Warren was interviewed by New England Cable News’ Jim Braude, and sounded more like John Delaney than Elizabeth Warren.
“I know you’re not going to Congress, you will, to maintain the status quo,” Braude said, and asked Warren “Would this healthcare, with the Affordable Care Act be better, according to Elizabeth Warren, if there were more public involvement, the public option that didn’t quite make it, single payer health care, that sort of thing?”
Warren evaded the question by changing the subject, telling him that “I actually think there is going to be a fight in Congress, I think that’s been made perfectly clear, but I think what it’s really going to be over is whether or not the benefits that are in the act as it’s designed right now are ones were going to be able to hang on to.”
She ticked off a lost of the ACA’s protections, and said that “Republicans want to repeal all of those.”
Braude said “I’ve read some of your work through the years, even before I knew you,” and asked “If you were the czarina, something like single payer health care, government run health care, far lower administrative cost, that sort of thing, would be the Senator Warren prescription, would it not?”
“I think right now what we have to do, I’m serious about this, I think you’ve got to stay with what’s possible,” Warren said, sounding a lot like the candidate she blasted at a debate for talking about “what we really can’t do, and shouldn’t fight for.”
“And I think what we’re doing, and look at the dust-up around this, we really need to consolidate our gains around what we’ve got on the table,” Warren said.
“But you do support single payer, do you not?” Braude said.
“No, what I’ve got right now…” Warren said, but Braude cut her off.
“You’ve written repeatedly that you have, have you not?” Braude said.
“Oh, I think you need to go back ann take a look at what I’ve written,” Warren said, which Braude had already done, and which he proceeded to quote.
“I have a paragraph,” Braude said, then quoted the 2008 book “Health at Risk,” in which Warren wrote “The most obvious solution would be universal single-payer health care,” and that “Single payer care would also free families from dependence on an employer’s plan, and make sure that everyone is covered, whether or not they are employed.”
“You wrote that with a co-author,” Braude said, to which Warren replied “Actually, with two, I think.”
“But the point is, what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to keep moving the direction of getting more families covered and bringing down the cost of healthcare. And I think we could take a big step in that direction,” Warren said.
At the time, Warren was running to unseat Republican Scott Brown, whose victory in a special election had forced Obamacare to be passed via budget reconciliation. But a few months earlier, during the Democratic primary, Warren still seemed to think single-payer was a good idea.
There was one candidate in that race activity advocating single payer, and it wasn’t Warren. But at a primary debate, Warren can be seen nodding along as candidate Marisa DeFranco says “I am the only candidate on record in support of single payer, and that does affect income inequality.”
DeFranco, sounding more like Warren than Warren, went on to say that “every small business would love to hire more people if it weren’t for that monstrosity called healthcare, but really it’s health business in this country, and we need to turn it back to healthcare.”
Warren appears to be going through another evolution on health care this time around, as even her supporters are beginning to ask pointed questions about her health care plan. For now, she’s fending them off with generalities, but her history demonstrates a willing to recognize the realities of a general election, and to pivot accordingly.
Watch the clip above, via NECN.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.