Sen. Elizabeth Warren has a lot of plans—to regulate Wall Street, to expand affordable child care, to eliminate student debt; the list goes on. But when it comes to health care, she took a different tack. Rather than develop her own proposal, she supported Sen. Bernie Sanders’ single-payer plan. “I’m with Bernie on Medicare,” Warren said at the first Democratic debate. Yet, while both presidential candidates embrace Medicare for All, it is only Warren who faced intense pressure—both from the media and her fellow primary contenders—to detail how she would pay for it, and finally released a detailed financing proposal.
You might disagree with the contents but this was a serious piece of work, developed with the assistance of top economists and policy experts. Meanwhile, Sanders, the architect and longtime defender of Medicare for All has, to date, released a mere menu of financing options. And yet it is Warren who has faced the most criticism on this issue, first for not explaining how she would pay for Bernie’s idea, and then for her explanation.
This is a classic gender dynamic, whereby we demand that our female politicians (and, really, women in general) not just be prepared, but hyper-prepared, down to the decimal point.