Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) – whether unintentionally or intentionally – has been using her ideological counterpart Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) as somewhat of a “human shield” to dodge political criticism, Politico assesses.
While Warren and Sanders generally hold similar views – something that became evident during the last Democrat debate in Detroit, where the two senators teamed up to defend Medicare for All– Sanders appears to get more criticism from the media, some say.
Per Politico’s playbook:
HAVE YOU NOTICED that nobody in the Democratic field ever attacks Elizabeth Warren? Sure, a few of the more centrist candidates — Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, John Delaney, Amy Klobuchar — will sort of verbally subtweet her, but their criticisms of lefty policy ideas like “Medicare for All” are aimed just as often at Bernie Sanders as they are at Warren.
THIS PHENOMENON HAS ALLOWED WARREN to effectively use Sanders as a human shield. Or maybe she’s more like a cyclist, drafting off Bernie’s leg work until it’s time to blow past him for the finish. Her patient approach, along with her message discipline and lack of errors, has allowed her to rise steadily in the polls. Is Biden going to wake up one day to find her right on his six?
While it is true that most criticisms of Medicare for All have been geared toward Sanders, he has been demonstratively more vocal and honest about his efforts. Warren, however, has yet to provide details of her comprehensive plan, which may explain why she has not had as much of a target on her back.
During the first Democrat debate, Warren failed to provide details on how she would go about fixing the current healthcare system, but Warren affirmed during a show-of-hands question that she “would abolish” private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan.”
“I’m with Bernie on Medicare for All. And let me tell you why,” Warren told NBC’s moderator Lester Holt:
Look at the business model of an insurance company. It’s to bring in as many dollars as they can in premiums and to pay out as few dollars as possible for your health care. That leaves families with rising premiums, rising copays, and fighting with insurance companies to try to get the health care that their doctors say that they and their children need. Medicare for All solves that problem.
Warren failed to provide details of her Medicare for All plan during her explanation, instead slamming critics who described her ideas as unrealistic.
“There are a lot of politicians who say, “Oh, it’s just not possible. We just can’t do it’ — have a lot of political reasons for this,” she said.
“What they’re really telling you is they just won’t fight for it. Well, health care is a basic human right, and I will fight for basic human rights,” she added.
Warren dodged a question on Medicare for All again during an AARP/Des Moines Register Presidential Forum, refusing to say definitively if her plan would eliminate private insurance:
Meanwhile, Sanders has unabashedly defended his support for Medicare for All, even telling concerned union members that his plan would “absolutely” erase union health benefits:
Warren and Sanders are neck and neck in the polls, switching back and forth between second and third place. Less than one point separates the two candidates according to the current Real Clear Politics average– 16 percent for Sanders and 15.4 percent for Warren.