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WSJ Columnist: Did Anyone Else Catch Warren Admitting to This Potentially Fatal 2020 Blunder?

AP Photo/ Cheryl Senter

The Democratic debates are unwatchable. It’s all the talking points and nonsense politics their allies in the media have been peddling since Trump was inaugurated. It’s a rinse, wash, and repeat cycle: Trump is terrible. And now here’s my socialist plan to destroy whatever he’s improving. It’s nauseating. For years, Democrats ran the table on health care. They were more trusted than the GOP and they had a good line about the Republicans taking away their stuff. That always works. And now, in an act of political self-immolation, they decided to throw that trump card away with this Medicare for All nonsense. 


It’s full-blown socialized medicine, with 150+ million health care plans put on the chopping block. This forced Medicare scheme cannot work without the destruction of Americans’ employer-based health care. Talk about the destruction of people’s stuff, right? It’s not just the rich who will get screwed over. It’s the working class too. Labor unions’ health care plans will be tossed out as well. This is electoral death, especially when you also peddle the line that none of this will lead to middle-class tax increases. 

It’s what Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has promised. The rich will pay more and everyone else’s costs will go down. No one believes that. Her 2020 rivals hammered her on the details for which she tried to answer with a non-answer but failed miserably. People still want to know the details. Alas, she gave a plan. It’s some $50 trillion over the next decade—and no one’s taxes will go up? Crack is whack. Remember that. Everyone’s taxes will go up. That’s a fact. And yet, she appeared to make another concession last week, a slight tweak that might be a fatal error in her White House ambitions. It was certainly picked up by Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel. 


Warren now wants a two-year phase-in to her health care proposal that will screw over the country and leave millions without health insurance. That doesn’t sound like a modification her most loyal and left-wing supporters would get behind (via WSJ):

Sen. Elizabeth Warren admitted last Friday that she had made a colossal, potentially fatal, campaign error—and immediately proceeded to make it worse. If the Warren presidential bid flops, this will be the moment to mark.

That admission didn’t come in so many words. It came instead in the form of a major update to Ms. Warren’s Medicare for All plan. The Massachusetts senator now proposes a two-year “transition” period, in which Americans would be able to opt into Medicare. Put another way, Ms. Warren now calls for the same sort of public option as her “moderate” competitors. She says that she will wait until the third year of her presidency to abolish private insurance.


The precise origin of this debacle was the moment in the first June Democratic debate when Ms. Warren announced she was “with Bernie”—Sen. Sanders of Vermont—on Medicare for All. Up to that point, she had afforded herself wiggle room, saying that she believed in a government-run system but stressing that there were many different “paths” for getting there. Her desire in that debate to keep pace with Mr. Sanders opened her up to relentless demands that she explain how her own plan would work.


Last week’s pivot only compounded the campaign’s problem, opening it up to criticism from both sides. Ms. Warren’s new “transition” won’t reassure the tens of millions of Americans worried about losing their private insurance. “Keep your private insurance for two additional years!” is not a winning campaign slogan. At Wednesday’s debate, Mayor Pete Buttigieg again hit her for taking the “divisive” step of robbing Americans of private health insurance. Former Vice President Joe Biden asserted that he trusted “the American people” to make a choice on health care.

At the same time, the left is unhappy by what they see as a cop-out. Progressives rightly fear that when Ms. Warren says she’ll enact Medicare for All later, she won’t do it at all.


Strassel’s point is that this is a top-notch loser of an issue. You’re still going to end up destroying hundreds of millions of health care plans, a benefit that’s the holy grail for Americans, especially those very Democratic-leaning union workers. It’s too expensive. No one thinks it will reduce costs. It’s a left-wing goodie bag only that the candy is laced with Drano. Anyone who isn’t a lizard person was skeptical of this plan and now Warren has made her most left-wing die-hard supporters uneasy. If these folks think she won’t be a left-wing revolutionary—they will find someone else. 

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