Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a Tuesday interview with CNBC that he doesn't intend to release a plan soon specifying how he'll pay for Medicare for All, the signature proposal for universal healthcare powering his progressive campaign.
Though the Democratic candidate expressed confidence "every nickel" would ultimately be paid for, he says he doesn't believe its a priority for him at the moment.
"You're asking me to come up with an exact detailed plan of how every American — how much you're going to pay more in taxes, how much I'm going to pay," Sanders told CNBC in a wide-ranging interview. "I don't think I have to do that right now."
The Vermont senator said the debate over paying the bill would come later, and he touted the plan as the most effective mechanism to curb excessive spending on healthcare.
"We'll have that debate. At the end of the day, we will pay for every nickel of Medicare for All, and it will save the overwhelming majority of the American people, who will no longer pay premiums," Sanders said.
It's a stark contrast from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who says she'll be releasing a plan in the near-future elaborating how she would cover Medicare for All's substantial cost. In recent weeks. she faced a barrage of criticism from rivals assailing her evasiveness on how her vision of Medicare for All would ultimately impact the middle-class.
However, Sanders has released several options to finance the plan, though it would only cover half its cost. He argues that while taxes on the middle class would go up, Medicare for All would save Americans money over the long-term as it would eliminate out-of-pocket costs and deductibles.
The Sanders campaign did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
Estimates of its price tag range between $28 trillion to $32 trillion over a decade, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan budget watchdog group.
And a recent study from the same organization found that Medicare for All would all but certainly require a tax increase on middle-class Americans, given that taxing the wealthy alone would not generate the needed revenue to cover government expenditures.
Sanders has sponsored legislation in the Senate for Medicare for All, which would create a single-payer system providing coverage for every person in the United States.