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With each plan detail, Warren throws her electability into question

Questions about Elizabeth Warren’s electability have become more relevant now that her ambitious agenda has become more transparent, thus creating what should be a wake-up call for Democrats. Notwithstanding the senator’s recent strong showing in early primary polls, her solutions to economic and social inequities could fail to weather the scrutiny of a wider electorate.

Senator Warren’s plans for health care, energy, and big tech represent leaps from a status quo that most Americans may not abandon readily and that even a possible Democratic Congress might not embrace, especially if the economy is perceived to be doing well.

A Democratic victory in 2020 might create the opportunity to address Warren’s progressive agenda incrementally. But, for the good of the country, what is more crucial for Democrats in choosing their nominee is that the route to that victory not be obstructed by making what could be a losing choice.

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Roger Hirschberg

Bondville, Vt.

The numbers just don’t add up

Re “Warren says plan spares middle class” (Page One, Nov. 2): Elizabeth Warren may be a good lawyer and a great politician, but she seems to have flunked economics 101.

Any taxes she imposes on corporations to pay for her Medicare for All plan will be passed on to consumers in higher prices for the products and services those corporations provide. How will higher prices for the things people buy every day help the middle class that Warren claims to be supporting?

In addition, the money needed to pay the higher corporate taxes won’t be available for raises or hiring new employees. In fact, companies may be forced to lay off employees to cover the higher costs. How will that help the middle class?

Warren also claims that some of the funding necessary to pay for her plan will come from the money companies now won’t have to pay to provide private insurance. That only works if the Medicare premiums cost less than the private insurance employers buy now. Since when has anything from the government cost less than the private sector?

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Medicare already loses over $1 billion every year to fraud and waste. How would that situation improve with billions more flowing into the system? I can hear the vultures calling already as they circle the money pot.

Private insurers may be greedy, heartless bureaucracies, but they are efficient. They have to be, because they answer to their shareholders. Who do government bureaucrats answer to? Nobody. That’s why government will always be less efficient than the private sector.

Robert G. Atkinson Jr.

North Reading

Medicare for All’s acceptable casualties

There are many legitimate objections to single-payer health care (“A complex idea with huge ramifications for Mass.,” Page One, Nov. 2), but layoffs in the health care system shouldn’t cause any tears to shed. Electrifying our trains in the 20th century forced the layoffs of thousands of coal stokers, and electrifying our cities took away the jobs of lamplighters, but those changes were an important part of cost savings and progress. Similarly, in health care, people who were formerly checking off boxes and mailing endless rejection notices can switch to productive employment.

Andrew Oram

Arlington

Critique of Warren’s single-payer proposal fails to see its value

It’s fair for Scot Lehigh (“Elizabeth Warren’s health care pipe dream,” Opinion, Nov. 6) to question the candidate’s tactics in sticking with her single-payer plan, but some of his criticism is off-base and destructive.

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Lehigh describes it as “government run health care” and “hugely expensive” when in fact it is neither. It would simply unite payment under a government-run system (as with Medicare), which would make it the only proposal that holds any promise to reduce and control overall health care costs. It would be far less expensive than the current system of multiple private payers, each with their own system for filing claims and approving care, which currently wastes valuable time of doctors and other providers and forces them to hire armies of administrative staff.

The expenses of the current system are real, and borne by taxpayers. Warren’s proposal would reduce overall costs as it shifts many of them onto wealthier people, eliminating medical bankruptcies and covering everyone. These savings would be absent in a public-option scheme.

Bob Schueler

Arlington

Warren sticks her neck out and gets pummeled

I’m not sure why Joan Vennochi thought that a piece on a “Saturday Night Live” parody of Elizabeth Warren was appropriate, warranted, or had some value to your readers (“The sad truth in ‘SNL’s Warren skit,” Opinion, Nov. 5). Donald Trump’s constant attacks on the press - including the Boston Globe - should give the Globe opinion staff pause when publishing opinions that pointlessly denigrate a potential Trump opponent. Yes, Warren waited a bit until she articulated her plan, but let’s be honest: Trump’s plan is to destroy our existing health care system; Bernie Sanders pushed a Medicare for All plan, and nobody cared that he didn’t articulate how we would pay for it; and none of the other candidates has any plan whatsoever.

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I’m not suggesting that you go easy on Warren. But I am suggesting that you criticize her — and all the candidates — for things they actually do wrong.

Phillip Sego

Cambridge