Buttigieg jabs at Warren for her 'evasive' answer on middle-class taxes under Medicare for All

Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON-- Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg took a jab at fellow candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., for being “evasive” in not saying whether her health care plan would raise middle-class taxes.

Warren had appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday where she sidestepped clearly answering a question about whether middle-class taxes would increase under her health care plan.

Warren repeatedly refers to overall “costs” and Colbert interrupts to say, “But here’s the thing, I’ve listened to these answers a few times before and I just want to make a parallel suggestion to you that you might defend the taxes perhaps that you’re not mentioning in your sentence: Isn’t Medicare-for-All like public school?”

“I accept your point and I believe in your point. Health care is a basic human right. We fight for basic human rights, and that’s Medicare for All. Everyone gets covered,” Warren answered, not responding directly on middle-class tax increases when she continues speaking.

Warren has consistently been polling in the top three in the 2020 Democratic primary field along with former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Warren supports the Medicare for All legislation authored by Sanders.

"Sen. Warren is known for being straightforward and was extremely evasive when asked that question, and we've seen that repeatedly,” Buttigieg said during an interview on CNN Thursday,

"I think that if you are proud of your plan and it's the right plan, you should defend it in straightforward terms," he continued. "And I think it's puzzling that when everybody knows the answer to that question of whether her plan and Sen. Sanders's plan will raise middle-class taxes is 'yes.' Why you wouldn't just say so, and then explain why you think that's the better way forward?"

Buttigieg also tweeted Thursday that anyone “who lets the words ‘Medicare for All’ escape their lips should be honest and straightforward about the details.”

And Buttigieg penned an op-ed in the Washington Post publishedThursday ahead of his interview on CNN, laying out his "Medicare for All Who Want It" health care plan.

His plan, which he says would cost $1.5 trillion over a decade, is aimed at universal coverage by providing insurance in a variety of ways, depending on an individual's insured status and income, but allows people to keep their private insurance if they like it.

"For years, Washington politicians have allowed the pharmaceutical industry, giant insurance companies, and powerful hospital systems to profit off of people when they are at their sickest and most vulnerable," Buttigieg's campaign website says before outlining his health care plan. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pete Buttigieg: Elizabeth Warren 'evasive' on taxes, Medicare for All