Kamala Harris Says 'Of Course' We Can Afford Green New Deal, Medicare For All and 'It's Not About a Cost'

Posted: Feb 24, 2019 7:00 PM
Kamala Harris Says 'Of Course' We Can Afford Green New Deal, Medicare For All and 'It's Not About a Cost'

Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) told CNN Sunday that the U.S. can afford the left's expensive proposals such as the Green New Deal and Medicare for all. She added that such proposals are “not about a cost.”

“You’ll hear things like the Green New Deal. You’ll hear things like Medicare for all, you’ll hear things like, whether it’s taxes, you’ll hear things — at what point do you say, that’s our north star but we have to be realists?” CNN’s John King asked.

“There’s no question we have to be practical,” Harris replied. “But being practical also recognizes that climate change is an existential threat to us as human beings. Being practical recognizes that greenhouse gas emissions are threatening our air and threatening the planet and that it is well within our capacity as human beings to change our behaviors in a way that we can reduce its effects.”

The Green New Deal would cost into the trillions per year for just some of its goals, economists are warning.

As for Medicare for all, one study from George Mason University’s Mercatus Center found that it would increase government spending on health care by $32.6 trillion over 10 years. The study’s findings are “similar to those of several independent studies of Sanders' 2016 plan. Those studies found increases in federal spending over 10 years that ranged from $24.7 trillion to $34.7 trillion.”

“Can we afford it?” King asked of these ideas.

“Of course we can afford it,” Harris replied.

“Two and a half, three trillion dollars a year for Medicare for all, by some studies,” King pointed out. “Depending on which portions of the green new deal you choose to do first–That’s money. You know what the Republicans are going to say, tax and spend liberals, pie in the sky…”

"One of the things that I admire and respect is the measurement that is captured in three letters: ROI," Harris replied. "What's the return on investment? People in the private sector understand this really well. It's not about a cost. It's about an investment. And then the question should be, is it worth the cost in terms of the investment potential? Are we going to get back more than we put in?"

Harris did not offer a more specific answer about how both proposals would be funded.