Chris Wallace on Warren's $52T 'Medicare-for-all' plan: Who'd have thought Bernie's plan would be a bargain?

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said Friday that 2020 Democratic frontrunner Elizabeth Warren's newly released $52 trillion "Medicare-for-al"l plan is "enormously risky" on several fronts.

Appearing on "America's Newsroom" with anchor Sandra Smith, the "Fox News Sunday" host asked, "First of all, who would have thought that Bernie Sanders' $32 trillion 'Medicare-for-all' plan was a bargain?"

"But, relatively speaking, it is compared to Elizabeth Warren's $52 trillion. And she's talking about trillions of dollars that are going to be taxed on companies and increased payroll taxes," Wallace said. "And she said, 'Well, but then they save all the money they were spending on health insurance' just isn't going to work that way."

Warren's long-awaited "Medicare-for-all" funding plan projects the government-run health care system would cost a staggering sum of "just under $52 trillion" over the next decade, with the campaign proposing a host of new tax increases to pay for it while still claiming the middle class would not face any additional burden.

In a statement, Warren promised voters no middle-class tax increases: "Not one penny in middle-class tax increases. No middle-class tax increases. $11 trillion in household expenses back in the pockets of American families. That's substantially larger than the largest tax cut in American history."

Among other proposals, Warren calls for bringing in nearly $9 trillion in new Medicare taxes on employers over the next 10 years, arguing this would essentially replace what they’re already paying for employee health insurance. Further, Warren’s campaign says if they are at risk of falling short of the revenue target, they could impose a “Supplemental Employer Medicare Contribution” for big companies with “extremely high executive compensation and stock buyback rates.”

Whether some of those costs, however, still could be passed on to middle-class employees – as economists argue payroll tax costs often are – remains to be seen.

Some of Warren’s rivals for the nomination are unlikely to buy that claim, after having repeatedly challenged her assertions that the middle class would not be hit by tax hikes and suggested she has not been upfront with voters.

Joe Biden's campaign said the "unrealistic plan" would leave only two options: "even further increase taxes on the middle class or break her commitment to these promised benefits."

"The mathematical gymnastics in this plan are all geared towards hiding a simple truth from voters: It's impossible to pay for Medicare-for-all without middle-class tax increases," Kate Bedingfield, Biden's deputy campaign manager, told reporters.


Wallace said Warren's plan is a political gamble and to expect her to be targeted even more by her 2020 White House rivals.

"I think this is an enormously risky plan in terms of both the policy and in terms of the politics," he said. "It would be so much easier simply to put a public option on to expand ObamaCare...and I think she's going to get hammered on this -- not only by Republicans but even by some of her fellow Democrats."

Fox News' Brooke Singman and Judson Berger contributed to this report.