How Elizabeth Warren Got to ‘Yes’ on Medicare for All

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In March 2019, at a CNN forum, she said there were “a lot of different pathways” for universal coverage, and that private insurers “could” still have a role. By June, Ms. Warren was more unequivocal, raising her hand at the first presidential debate to endorse doing away with private insurers entirely.

Still, she allowed herself room to maneuver, especially on how the program would be paid for. She repeatedly refused to rule out raising middle-class taxes, saying only that she would lower overall costs. The tension came to a head in a July post-debate interview, when Chris Matthews, pressed her in a live interview on MSNBC to say what would happen to taxes. Over and over, she refused to answer.

By September, the headlines were everywhere: The candidate with a plan for everything did not have one for the issue at the center of the race. The tax question became so commonplace that Ms. Wa

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