Medicare for All
Though Warren was an early proponent of Medicare for All and has expressed a desire to eliminate the private insurance industry, the health care plan she unveiled last fall is built around a public option rather than a single-payer overhaul. The plan calls for anti-corruption reforms, lowering the Medicare age to 50, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and other measures Warren says will help America transition to Medicare for All system.
“Medicare for All will mean that health care is once again between patients and the doctors and nurses they trust–without an insurance company in the middle to say ‘no’ to access to the care they need,” she wrote. “I have put out a plan to fully finance Medicare for All when it’s up and running without raising taxes on the middle class by one penny.”
Closing the Wealth Gap
Warren has the most aggressive tax-the-rich proposal in the field. Under her “Ultra-Millionaire” wealth tax, households with a net worth of more than $50 million would be taxed 2 percent on every dollar of net worth above $50 million, and a 3 percent on every dollar of net worth above $1 billion. Warren estimates the tax, which would apply to about 75,000 households, would bring in $2.75 trillion in revenue over 10 years.
The Climate Crisis
Warren’s “Green Manufacturing Plan” takes inspiration from both the Apollo program and the Marshall Plan to “develop, manufacture, and export the technology the world needs to confront the existential threat of climate change.” The plan would divide a $2 trillion 10-year investment among three priorities: clean energy research and development ; a massive investment to encourage the manufacture of clean, renewable, and emission-free energy products; and a diplomatic program to encourage other countries to use clean American technology. Warren has also released a plan to ready the military for threats associated with climate change. Under that plan, the Pentagon would have to achieve net zero emissions by 2030 and the Defense Department would invest “billions of dollars into a new, 10-year research and development program … focused on microgrids and advanced energy storage.”
Warren has also said she will adopt Jay Inslee’s 10-year action plan “to achieve 100% clean energy for America by decarbonizing our electricity, our vehicles, and our buildings.”
Arguing that crushing student loan debt is reducing rates of homeownership, discouraging people from starting businesses, and forcing students to drop out before graduating, Warren has declared that she would cancel up to $50,000 in student-loan debt for 42 million Americans, almost completely wiping out educational debt for three-quarters of the country’s borrowers. To prevent future generations from becoming similarly buried in student debt, Warren has proposed offering every American the chance to go to a two- or four-year college for free. (The cost, Warren says, will be covered by the tax on her Ultra-Millionaire tax.)
Taking on Big Tech
Last March, Warren released a plan to break up Facebook, Google, and Amazon, companies she argues have “too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy.”
Central to her plan is designating companies with an annual revenue of more than $25 billion and which offers an “online marketplace, an exchange, or a platform for connecting third parties would be designated” as a “Platform Utilities,” which would have to abide by a set of regulations relating to their interactions with users, and would not be able to share data with third parties. She would also appoint regulators to reverse “illegal and anti-competitive” tech mergers — for example, Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods. “We must help America’s content creators — from local newspapers and national magazines to comedians and musicians — keep more of the value their content generates, rather than seeing it scooped up by companies like Google and Facebook,” Warren wrote.
Warren announced early on in her campaign that she would not court or accept contributions from big-money donors — a decision that ultimately resulted in her finance director quitting the campaign. (He reportedly “strenuously objected” on the grounds that the move would kneecap her candidacy right out of the gate.)
Warren, who said in 2014 that she “grew up around guns and gun owners” and that she “will work to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens,” has more recently joined other senators in calling for research into the public health consequences of gun violence and for hearings on universal background checks. Last January, she co-sponsored an assault weapons ban bill, and in February, she said gun violence would be qualified as a national emergency if she were elected. Last June, Warren tweeted that she supports a national gun licensing program that would require Americans to hold a license before purchasing a gun, and that she also wants to ban assault weapons, prevent domestic abusers from obtaining firearms, and closing the gun show loophole.
After the shootings that left 31 dead in El Paso and Dayton, however, Warren unveiled a wide-ranging plan aimed at reducing gun violence by 80 percent. The plan is essentially three-pronged: Warren would take several executive actions to institute gun control measures like universal background checks, prosecuting gun traffickers, and more; passing anti-corruption legislation that would end the NRA’s “stranglehold on Congress”; and sending Congress comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation that would be revisited and tweaked on an annual basis. “I’ll make sure that the NRA and their cronies are held accountable with executive action,” Warren wrote on Medium. “If we turn our heartbreak and our anger into action, I know we can take the power from the NRA and the lawmakers in their pockets and return it to the people.”
Warren certainly has expertise in domestic economic policy, but she’s been beefing up her foreign policy credentials as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. In 2018, before officially declaring her candidacy, Warren outlined in broad strokes her vision for a progressive foreign policy in an op-ed in Foreign Affairs. Among other goals, Warren emphasized the importance of ensuring trade negotiations are “used to curtail the power of multinational monopolies and crack down on tax havens,” of making “honest assessments of the full costs and risks associated with going to war,” and of committing to “reprioritize diplomacy and reinvest in the State Department and the development agencies.” She also criticized the Defense Department’s bloated budget and called for pulling troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Last June, she offered an unequivocal “no” when the New York Times asked whether American troops would still be in Afghanistan at the end of her first term in office.
Warren’s housing plan is built around the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, which she initially introduced to the Senate in 2018. The bill would set aside $500 billion over the next 10 years to “build, preserve, and rehab units that will be affordable to lower-income families.” The increase in units would in turn drive down rental costs. How would this be paid for, you ask? The same way Warren plans to pay for several of her proposals: by taxing the rich. Currently, an heir doesn’t pay estate taxes until they inherit $22 million or more. Warren would reduce the threshold to $7 million, which she says would fully pay for the plan.
Her plan would also “level the playing field for communities of color”:
Warren has said that America needs to come up with immigration policy that “align[s] with our values.” Last July, she delivered by unveiling a sweeping plan that includes “remaking” ICE and Customs and Border Protection; allowing more refugees into the United States; ending the abuse of migrants and reducing detention; and decriminalizing border crossings. “We already have the tools to effectively track and monitor individuals without shoving them into cages and camps along the border,” she wrote on Medium. “As President, I’ll issue guidance ensuring that detention is only used where it is actually necessary because an individual poses a flight or safety risk.
Warren declined to publicly state a position when Massachusetts considered whether to legalize weed in 2016, but now says she voted in favor of the ballot measure and supports nationwide legalization. Warren has cited the racial disparities in marijuana arrests as a big reason to legalize the substance.
In 2018, Warren introduced a bipartisan bill with Sen. Cory Gardner — the The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act — that would free states with legal pot from the threat of federal crackdowns.
Criminal Justice Reform
“Our criminal justice system is broken — and right at the heart of that problem is race and we have to address this head-on,” Warren said at a CNN town hall in early 2019. Black Americans, she said, are more likely to be arrested, arraigned, taken to trial, wrongfully convicted and given harsher sentences, adding, “that it is a criminal justice system that is not only locking up too many people; it is a criminal justice system that has a problem of race right at the heart of it and we need to call it out for what it is.” Warren has also talked about making sure quality legal representation is available to everyone regardless of their income, called for getting rid of for-profit private prisons. She has also stressed the need to ensure Americans who serve time in prison are reintegrated into society.
Last June, Warren released a plan to ban private prisons, stop contractors from marking up prices on commissary goods, and install an independent Prison Conditions Monitor inside Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General.
Acknowledging that court attacks on choice are not stopping anytime soon, Warren has issued a Congressional call to action to protect reproductive rights. She proposes ending the Hyde Amendment (which makes it difficult for women who get their health coverage through Medicaid, the VA, or the Indian Health Service to pay for an abortion) and for federal laws that would enshrine the protections of Roe v. Wade no matter what state you live in. In the same proposal, she calls for repealing the Trump administration’s gag rule that bars certain physicians from discussing abortion with their patients, and for an increase in funding for Title X, the federal government’s family planning programs.
Last June, Warren released a plan to fortify federal elections, which she wrote on Medium should be “as secure as Fort Knox.” The plan calls for modernizing election machines; blanket, federal standards including same-day registration, early voting, and vote-by-mail, rather than the current state-by-state regulations; measures to end gerrymandering; and making Election Day a national holiday.
Prior to a blitz through Iowa late last summer, Warren released a plan to invest in rural America. The plan calls for increased government investment in rural communities, including creating a “public option for broadband”; strengthening health care and economic security; and, in true Warren fashion, breaking up the agribusiness corporations that have been crippling smaller farmers for years. “Our failure to invest in rural areas is holding back millions of families, weakening our economy, and undermining our efforts to combat climate change,” Warren wrote. “It’s time to fix this.”
Abolishing the Electoral College
Warren supports abolishing the Electoral College, which she has argued encourages candidates to “zero in on just a few battleground states, and they don’t get to hear about the issues that are on the top of people’s minds everywhere else in the country.” She added: “Everyone’s vote should count equally — in every election — no matter where they live.”
Packing the Supreme Court
The conversation about adding justices to the Supreme Court is “a conversation that’s worth having,” Warren told Politico in 2019. In the same conversation, she floated the idea of bringing appellate judges onto Supreme Court cases. “It’s not just about expansion — it’s about depoliticizing the Supreme Court.”
Warren supports offering reparations to black Americans in recognition of the economic toll of slavery. “We must confront the dark history of slavery and government-sanctioned discrimination in this country that has had many consequences, including undermining the ability of Black families to build wealth in America for generations,” she said in a statement to Reuters. But the form those reparations would take is somewhat unclear; for instance, it could take the form of legislation that guarantees a down-payment on a house (she’s introduced a bill proposing exactly that in the past), or something like her proposed Small Business Equity Fund, which would offer grants to help black-owned businesses get off the ground.
Warren introduced the Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act last June. Among other provisions, it would ensure that no family pays more than seven percent of their income for child care, create a federally funded network of child care centers, and guarantee day care workers were paid on par with public school teachers.