by Jason Hopkins
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said her “Medicare for All” plan won’t require a tax increase on the middle class and will return $11 trillion to American families, but her plan doesn’t factor in the cost of universal coverage for illegal aliens.
Warren — the senior senator from Massachusetts who is vying to become the 2020 presidential nominee — introduced her $52 trillion “Medicare for All” plan Friday. In response to long-held accusations from critics that such universal coverage would require tax raises, Warren said her plan would not raise “one penny” in taxes on the middle class.
“Today, I’m releasing my plan to pay for #MedicareForAll. Here’s the headline: My plan won’t raise taxes one penny on middle-class families. In fact, we’ll return about $11 TRILLION to the American people. That’s bigger than the biggest tax cut in our history,” Warren tweeted Friday.
Included in her tweet-thread was a link to her plan, where her campaign goes into detail about how the government could take control of roughly one-sixth of the U.S. economy without raising taxes on the middle class. Warren said such a plan is feasible by taxing the top 1% of income earners, Wall Street, other big corporations, and embarking in other tax and spending reforms.
Notably, her plan also cites immigration reform as one of the key sources for funding.
“I support immigration reform that’s consistent with our values, including a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and expanded legal immigration consistent with my principles,” her plan reads. “That’s not only the right thing to do — it also increases federal revenue we can dedicate to Medicare for All as new people come into the system and pay taxes. Based on CBO’s analysis of the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill, experts project that immigration reform would generate an additional $400 billion in direct federal revenue.”
Warren, citing a 2013 Congressional Budget Office study, said the legalization of millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. would generate roughly an extra $400 billion in revenue.
However, there is one major issue with this source: The CBO analysis never factored in the cost of universal health care coverage for illegal aliens. Instead, the study specifically took into account Obamacare and Medicaid costs for certain populations for undocumented immigrants — not her “Medicare for All” plan.
While her plan does not specifically touch on the issue of health care coverage for illegal aliens, she has been an outspoken advocate for such a policy.
“Remember what I have in mind for immigration. And that is that we are going to bring people into the system, create a pathway to citizenship, and that means we want health care for everybody,” Warren told NBC News during a September interview.
The progressive senator also made her position clear in a questionnaire for The Washington Post, confirming she believes all undocumented immigrants should be covered under a government-run health care plan.
An analysis conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington-based think tank, concluded that health care coverage for all illegal aliens would cost the government up to $23 billion a year. Notably, this study only estimated what the costs would be under the existing system of government health care benefits — such as those found in Obamacare — and does not cover what the costs would be under an expanded Medicare for All plan.
The CIS study, which was published in October, estimated that there are about 4.9 million uninsured illegal aliens with incomes low enough for government subsidies. Under Warren’s Medicare for All plan, coverage would presumably apply to all of the 11 million, or more, illegal aliens believed to be living in the U.S.
In an additional note, Warren did not provide CBO’s complete analysis. While CBO did conclude that the 2013 immigration legalization bill would generate about $449 billion in revenue, it also found that the bill would increase federal spending by $262 billion. Thus, the net income to the government is closer to $197 billion rather than upwards of $400 billion.
Warren’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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Jason Hopkins is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Elizabeth Warren” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.