Get Ready for the Democratic Debates Tonight and Tomorrow Night

Elizabeth Warren's lack of an overall health care plan may come up tonight

Medicare-for-all plans are bound to be debated tonight as 10 Democratic presidential candidates square off tonight starting at 9 p.m.

A second batch of 10 will debate tomorrow night, also starting at 9 p.m.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has put together a tool that compares the various Medicare-for-all bills that have been introduced in Congress. Vox has one of its calling-card explainers that gives an accessible overview of where many of the leading candidates stand. If you want to do some predebate homework, check them both out.

Elizabeth Warren. who is ascending in the polls, is expected to be the star of tonight's proceedings. "She's got a plan for that" has become the bumper sticker slogan of her campaign. Warren has released plans that address several discrete health care issues--the opioid crisis, maternal morality--but she hasn't put out an overall health care plan. The void is not unintentional; some say she wants to leave herself room to maneuver on the issue. It would be surprising if she wasn't pressed about the gap in her plans-for-that resume tonight. 

Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg are in the group that is scheduled to debate tomorrow night. Sanders is the author of the Senate Medicare for All Act. If his bill were to become law, it would mean the end of private health insurance, even employer-based insurance, and a true government single-payer system. Providers would remain private. Vox calls it the "most maximalist overhaul in the field," and Sanders has put down a marker that is setting the terms of the health care debate among Democrats.

Biden's website mentions building upon the ACA. At a candidate forum last week, he made a reference to something that sounds like the proposals that would expand coverage by allowing people to buy into Medicaid.