Elizabeth Warren Defines Middle-Class In Medicare For All Plan As Anyone With Less Than A Billion Dollars

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks to guests during a campaign stop at Hempstead High School on November 02, 2019 in Dubuque, Iowa.
Scott Olson / Getty Images

During a recent talk with reporters on Saturday — available on TwitterElizabeth Warren was grilled for her recent Medicare for All proposal, which her campaign claims does not raise taxes on the middle class. When asked by Wall Street Journal national politics reporter Josh Jamerson if there is a specific salary or income that Warren would define as middle class when she claims the middle class will not be taxed, the candidate responded.

“Sure, for Medicare for All, it’s a billion dollars… no increases in taxes for anyone except billionaires, period,” she said.

The suggestion that Warren only plans to increase taxes on billionaires was met with negative reactions from many on social media.

“This is so strange. Is she just not hearing what they’re asking her? He asks what her definition of ‘middle class’ is and she says, ‘Sure. A billion dollars.’ Um, what?” one user wrote.

“She’s lost it,” another said.

Per The New York Times, Warren’s Saturday comments conflict with her recently released Medicare for All plan, which would tax far beyond just billionaires. This discrepancy was reportedly addressed by Warren’s campaign, as CBS News campaign reporter Zak Hudak reveals that Warren’s communications director, Kristen Orthman, confirmed that Warren’s Saturday comment was referring to the wealth tax, which would only affect billionaires. Alternatively, Warren’s capital gains tax would reportedly affect non-billionaires, although only the top 1 percent.

Biden’s campaign is already taking shots at Warren for her recent conflicting comments. A statement from his campaign manager and communications director Kate Bedingfield highlights that Warren’s plan would create a new tax on employers — almost $9 trillion — that would be taken from workers’ pockets and “impact investments held by middle-class Americans.” The statement also claims that a new capital gains tax would hit more Americans than Warren has stated.

Interestingly, Biden’s healthcare plan also has a capital gains tax that will reportedly double the current rate on the super-wealthy, defined as those making over $1 million.

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According to Jacobin Magazine, Warren’s plan is proposing a Medicare head tax as opposed to a standard Medicare payroll tax proposal. The head tax is a specific dollar amount charged per worker, while the payroll tax is a percentage of each worker’s earnings.

“Needless to say, the Medicare payroll tax is far superior to the Medicare head tax distributively speaking. Specifically, the Medicare head tax charges middle and low earners massively more than the Medicare payroll tax does,” the report reads, adding that Warren chose this approach to “trick journalists” into thinking it’s not a tax since it’s not a percentage.

As The Inquisitr reported, Warren has come under fire for continuing to dodge the question of whether middle-class taxes will increase with her plan. During an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Colbert pointed out that the Massachusetts Senator never answered the question when he posed it to her.