Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) “Medicare for All” plan is a major concern for Iowa Democrats, who fear that her proposal could either damage the American healthcare system or hurt Democrats’ chances of taking over the Oval Office.
The story: Warren started surging in national polls around the time former Vice President Joe Biden became embroiled in the Ukraine scandal. The Massachusetts senator came under pressure for not giving a straightforward answer when asked how she plans on paying for her “Medicare for All” plan, even after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) alleged that it would raise a tax on the middle class. Sen. Kamala Harris, too, drew some scrutiny for saying that she supports a plan that would effectively put an end to private insurance. She then backpedaled, saying Americans should have the right to choose and eventually introduced her own proposal.
Last week, Warren released her plan, saying it would cost “just under $52 trillion” over the following ten years, as we reported at Conservative Edition News. With it, she introduced a new tax increase strategy to pay for the proposal so that middle-class Americans don’t face additional costs.
What do Iowans say? 60-year-old Tim Fairchild, an independent, told the Washington Examiner that healthcare is an important issue for him as a voter and that he’s unsure about Warren’s plan.
“I’m not saying it’s wrong, but I’m scared. I really am. I’d be scared to have an appendectomy, too — it’s big, it’s bold, it may be great,” he said. “The only reason she’s back is perseverance and tenacity. That’s what it takes to make millionaires and good leaders. If she’s off by 2% on any of her predictions, that’s like a gazillion-dollar error,” he added.
58-year-old Faye Schluter suggested Warren doesn’t really connect with people. “I don’t think she’s talking with society, with people, what we want. She has her agenda of control, and I think people are getting sick of it because what they’re wanting — they, as in our big government system — I mean the layers of corruption I believe are so deep. How is that person going to start chipping away at that? And I think she’s part of all of that,” she said.
Are extreme stances worth it? Northeastern University’s Costas Panagopoulos noted that candidates sometimes take “extreme” stances to appeal to a certain group of people and not because they believe in them. But, regardless of the motive, such moves are always risky as they can deter moderate voters.
“In an election in which electability will be paramount for Democratic primary voters, adopting extreme positions is risky and potentially fatal,” he said.
Tom Cochran, a 720 Strategies partner, said Warren’s willing to go to the extreme with her “Medicare for All” might have been a strategy to increase media coverage, and he thinks that she “will gravitate back to the center during the general election.”
“The question of electability seems to be playing a bigger part this cycle, so much so that voters are prioritizing that over issues. So yes, it definitely raises concerns for the candidates if they are being evaluated subjectively on whether they can beat Trump versus are their policy positions good for the country?” he said.
(Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)