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Elizabeth Warren To Release Medicare For All Funding Plan

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren says in the coming weeks she will start unveiling her plan for paying for Medicare for All. Critics have said she has been avoiding saying whether or not her healthcare plan would raise taxes on the middle class. 

The Massachusetts senator told a crowd at a town hall in Des Moines Sunday night that she’s been working on the plan for a long time, and it still has a little bit to be worked out.

“But this much I promise to you: I will not sign a bill into law that does not reduce the cost of healthcare for middle class families,” Warren told a crowd of more than one thousand people at Drake University. “That’s what matters to them and that’s what matters to me.”

Warren says the cost for Medicare for All varies by trillions of dollars.

Credit Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio
Sen. Elizabeth Warren told a town hall gathering at Drake University Sunday that there's a little more to work out on her Medicare for All plan, then she'll discuss how to pay for it.

Meanwhile, other Democratic candidates called on state party activists in the state’s second-largest county to reach out to alienated voters.

Six candidates attended the Linn County Democrats’ Hall of Fame dinner Sunday, and many urged moderation.

Like Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who noted that fellow candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, has said “taxes will go up” under the plan.

“That’s a policy that other folks have proposed, without admitting that the only way to do it is to raise taxes on the middle class,” Bennet said. “I admire Bernie's candor about that.”

According to the most recent Iowa Poll, a majority of likely caucus-goers said they worried that Medicare For All could cost the election, or that it was bad policy.

Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar also told the crowd in Cedar Rapids to convert President Donald Trump voters with a message about the economy and patriotism.

“We’re going to tell them about the broken promises and insulin prices and the pharmaceuticals and what’s happening in this country,” Klobuchar said. “But we’re also going to appeal to something else, and that is their values. Because we have a president where when kids watch him on TV at night, their parents turn off the volume because they don’t want them to hear what he says.”

Nearly a third of Iowa’s 99 counties pivoted to Trump after voting for Barack Obama in 2012, a higher rate than any other state in the country.

Iowa’s caucuses, which are the first in the presidential nominating process, are scheduled for February 3.

Kate Payne was an Iowa City-based Reporter
Clay Masters is Iowa Public Radio’s Morning Edition host and lead political reporter.