US Politics

Warren Says Shed Wait Until 3rd Year in Office to Implement Medicare for All

After widespread backlash to her $52 trillion, 10-year Medicare for All plan, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) now says she wouldnt start implementing the program until at least two years had passed if shes elected president.

Warren unveiled the plan on Nov. 1. Shes struggled when fielding questions about the massive proposal, which would see the government take over the healthcare industry, and faced criticism from a raft of fellow presidential contenders.

Warren announced on Friday that she wouldnt implement Medicare for All right after she took office.

“By the end of my third year, Ill fight to pass legislation to complete the transition to Medicare for All. Once millions have experienced the full benefits of a Medicare for All option and compared it to the corrupt and wasteful system we have today, the people will demand it,” she said in a statement.

Warren said shed take executive action on healthcare in her first 100 days in office, including lowering the cost of critical drugs such as insulin and EpiPens and “crack[ing] down on corruption to rein in health insurers and drug companies.”

Shed also “bypass the filibuster and create a true Medicare for All option” in the first 100 days in office to start “the transition to Medicare for All,” she said.

Elizabeth Warren speaks during an event
Elizabeth Warren speaks during an event
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) speaks during an event to introduce the “Medicare for All Act of 2017” on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 13, 2017. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

That option would be open to everyone and be free for nearly 50 percent of people in the country, including everyone under 18 and anyone with income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Meanwhile, anyone over 50 would be allowed to join the existing Medicare program.

By the end of 2024, she said, the full Medicare for All program would be in place.

It wasnt clear whether Warren had the transition plan before the criticism of her initial plan. There was no transition mentioned in the plan she unveiled two weeks ago.

A number of other Democratic presidential contenders have criticized Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for their Medicare for All plans. Before releasing her own plan, Warren had endorsed Sanderss proposal.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)

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