PBS NEWSHOUR: In his third bid for the presidency, former Vice President Joe Biden has long been considered a 2020 Democratic frontrunner. But recent polls show him losing ground to Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren -- especially in Iowa. Judy Woodruff joined Biden on the campaign trail to discuss the impeachment inquiry, primary poll numbers, his age, the U.S. economy, health care and more.
JUDY WOODRUFF, PBS NEWSHOUR: So much to ask you. Health care.
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Yes.
WOODRUFF: Elizabeth Warren today put out an estimate for the cost of her Medicare for all plan.
She put it at around $20 trillion over a number of years. In the past, the estimate had been $34 trillion. She's talking about making it up with — the difference with targeted defense spending cuts, a wealth tax, cracking down on tax evaders.
BIDEN: She's making it up.
She's making — look, nobody thinks it's $20 trillion. It's between $30 trillion and $40 trillion, every major independent study that's gone out there that's taken a look at this.
There's no way. Even Bernie, who talks about the need to raise middle-class taxes, he can't even meet the cost of it.
Look, we don't have to go that route. All we have to do is go back, restore Obamacare, make it — provide a public option, further subsidize the ability to get into a gold plan. My plan will cost about $750 billion over 10 years. We can pay for that.
It doesn't cost $3.4 trillion per year. And it can be done now, not in four years, not in eight years, not in 10 years, like they're talking about.
WOODRUFF: If the Democratic nominee for president next year is someone who supports single-payer, something like Medicare for all, is that an automatic loser for Democrats?
BIDEN: Let me put it this way.
I think it is going to be very difficult to even get a Democratic Congress to vote for that. I think it's going to be very difficult to get Democrats to vote for that, when they find out what the cost is.
The net increase in what's out of pocket for them, counting what they would save in health care costs, is going to be up exponentially. Some of the recent studies show you would have to increase the withholding tax by 25 percent to get there.