Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE on Friday attacked Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) over the cost of his signature “Medicare for All” plan during a debate in New Hampshire.
Biden noted that Sanders likes to say he “wrote the damn bill” on Medicare for All, but “he’s unwilling to say what the damn thing’s gonna cost.”
While Biden has attacked Medicare for All before, his criticism on Friday was more forceful than usual as he fell out of the top tier in Iowa and Sanders and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE rose.
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Biden pointed to a CBS interview in January when Sanders said “nobody knows” the cost of his Medicare for All plan. The former vice president also said Sanders’s attitude is “we’ll find out later” what the cost is.
Multiple studies have put the cost around $32 trillion over 10 years, a daunting sum.
Sanders countered that total costs would go down for middle class people because they would no longer have to pay premiums and deductibles, which would more than offset the higher taxes to pay for the plan.
Sanders said his plan would “save the average American substantial sums of money,” so that it would be “much less expensive than [Biden’s] plan” for the average person.
Biden and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-Minn.) both drew applause from the audience for their attacks on Medicare for All.
Klobuchar, another moderate along with Biden, noted that Sanders does not have support for his plan even among most Democrats in the Senate.
“Two thirds of the Democrats in the Senate are not on your bill,” Klobuchar said.
Biden also pointed to the struggles Sanders’s home state of Vermont had in trying to implement a state-level Medicare for All system, an idea it dropped in 2014 after the tax increases were deemed too high.
Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.), who has taken fire from multiple sides on Medicare for All, tried to relay a more unifying message on the subject.
“We are the Democrats, we are on the side of expanding health care,” she said, while pointing to unilateral action she would take to lower drug prices on her first day in office.