Elizabeth Warren's excellent opening gambit on Medicare for All

11/06/2019 04:00 |

Elizabeth Warren's excellent opening gambit on Medicare for All

Under a plan released Friday morning, the MA senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate goes further: Middle class Americans would no longer pay health premiums or copays and would also not pay any new taxes to replace those costs.

While Warren's plan embraces the relatively radical idea of Medicare for All-universal, government-funded health care for all Americans-it is hardly a breathless document. It describes in relatively minute detail, complete with links, how the federal government would curb the cost of health care by reducing administrative costs and reforming payment, and increasing competition among hospitals.

Large corporations would get hit with $2.9 trillion over 10 years from higher taxes, including new levies on overseas profits, and less generous writeoffs for depreciating assets. Warren says she would raise almost $9 trillion here, a figure that comes from the roughly $9 trillion private employers are projected to spend over the next decade on health insurance. Elizabeth Warren's $20 million "Medicare for All" plan was "more socialist than Bernie Sanders'" because Americans "don't pay" any costs.

Healthcare payroll tax: $8.8 trillion. In her pay-fors, Klein argues that companies who offer really good health care will be unhappy because they'll have to pay the same amount, initially, as companies who provided crappier insurance. Estimated to raise $1.4 trillion from 2020-2029.

Under current tax law, firms may accelerate cost recovery for their investments by fully deducting the cost of investments from taxable income in the year that they are incurred, for most types of investment. Supporters applauded Warren's proposal as a "win for the Medicare for All movement". Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose estimated net worth is around $106 billion, would pay nearly as much as Jeff Bezos, approximately $6 billion.

Strengthen the current anti-base erosion and minimum tax regime established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) by establishing a 35 percent country-by-country tax on foreign earnings. Under Warren's plan, that wealth would be taxed at 6 percent, culminating in a whopping $6.7 billion tax bill for the Amazon executive. To help reach that figure, Warren revamped her "Ultra-Millionaire Tax" on Friday, bumping it from a 3% tax to a 6% tax on every dollar over $1 billion in net worth. She will not raise a penny, she says, on middle-class families. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who claims the tax hikes are essential in paying for the program.

Wall Street would contribute $800 billion over a decade through a new tax on trades of stocks, bonds, and other securities.

Immigration Reform - Supports a pathway to citizenship as well as expanded legal immigration.

$80 billion: Most of what is now allocated ($116 billion) for the military Overseas Contingency Operations fund each year, a "slush fund" that makes up roughly 10% of all federal discretionary spending.

Taken together, these proposed tax changes would raise marginal and effective tax rates on high-earning and high-net-wealth taxpayers, increase the cost of capital, and reduce the competitiveness of the US tax code. There also would be a tax on the 40 or so biggest banks. ProPublica had previously reported that the IRS is much more likely to audit low-income taxpayers, though fraud committed by high-income taxpayers represents a more significant drain on the economy.

Policymakers should consider the economic impact of these tax proposals in addition to how the proposals shift the distribution of costs associated with medical care, potentially leaving the USA with lower long-run economic growth and a less internationally competitive tax code.

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