Fact Check: Gillum’s Single-Payer Health Care Plan Would Drastically Raise Taxes on Floridians
The Bernie Sanders–Andrew Gillum single-payer health care plan would cost the country a staggering $32 TRILLION if implemented nationally. If Gillum had his way and established a state-level version of the program, it is expected to cost Florida an additional $163 billion, almost doubling Florida’s $89 billion budget. Andrew Gillum still has no idea how he plans to pay for this huge increase in spending without drastic tax increases on Floridians.
As one of the few states in the country without a personal state income tax, Florida’s budget is funded in large part by a 6% sales tax rate. In order to fund this single-payer health care program, Gillum would have to raise the sales tax to a staggering 39% or create a state income tax rate to 37% of taxable income.
This would take Florida from being one of the best states for personal tax freedom to almost the very bottom of states in the county. If Gillum had his way, Florida’s average salary would plummet from $40,750 to $25,673.
Ron DeSantis has pledged to never raise taxes on Floridians and never support the Bernie Sanders government takeover of healthcare. Ron understands that the best way to expand health care coverage for Floridians is not by taxing all Floridians more, on top of what they already pay for their health care, but by expanding our economy, creating new jobs, and investing in education so that everyone has access to high-paying jobs and employer coverage. For those who choose to purchase insurance on the market, Ron will support policies that encourage private-sector market competition and transparent pricing, allowing Floridians have the freedom to choose affordable plans that match their health care needs. Florida can provide better coverage to more Floridians by working with the market, instead of against it.
Bernie Sanders Endorses Andrew Gillum, Cites His Support for a “Medicare For All” Plan. “‘As governor, Andrew Gillum will work to provide health care for all through a Medicare-for-All program…said Sanders.” (James Call, “Bernie Sanders endorses Andrew Gillum to be Florida Governor,” Tallahassee Democrat, 8/1/2018).
Andrew Gillum Proposes Constitutional Amendment to Declare Affordable Healthcare a “Fundamental Right.” “On Tuesday, Mayor Andrew Gillum proposed a constitutional amendment declaring that affordable healthcare is a fundamental right of all Floridians.” (“Gillum Declares Healthcare a Right,” Andrew Gillum for Governor, 7/11/2017).
A State-Level Medicare For All Plan Would Cost Florida $163 Billion. “Alternatively, if Florida were to implement a state-level version of M4A, without waiting for Congress to pass Senator Sanders’s bill, the cost to Florida would be $163 billion (netting out the current state Medicaid cost).” (Dr. J. Antonio Vilamil & Donna Arduin, “Election 2018: Platforms, Proposals, Projections,” The James Madison Institute, 10/15/2018).
Florida’s Budget for FY 2019 is $89 Billion. “With a light touch of his veto pen, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a new $88.7 billion state budget, eliminating only $64 million in spending and projects, the lowest total of his seven-plus years as governor.” (Lloyd Dunkelberger and Jim Turner, “Rick Scott signs $88.7 billion Florida budget, vetoes $64 million in projects,” News Service of Florida via Orlando Weekly, 3/19/2018).
In Order to Fund A State-Level Medicare For All Plan, Andrew Gillum Would Have to Raise the State Sales Tax to 39%. “As a zero-income tax state, Florida’s $32 billion state government is primarily funded by a six percent sales tax rate ($.06 on every dollar spent). In order to raise an additional $163 billion to fund Florida M4A, Florida would have to increase its sales tax rate to 39 percent, or $.39 for every dollar spent. By way of example, a $50 purchase would go from $53.00 to $69.50 at the cash register.” (Dr. J. Antonio Vilamil & Donna Arduin, “Election 2018: Platforms, Proposals, Projections,” The James Madison Institute, 10/15/2018).
If Gillum Avoided Raising the State Sales Tax, He Would Have to Implement a 37% State Personal Income Tax Rate, Turning Florida into a High Tax State like California, New York, or New Jersey. “The alternative to a national M4A plan would be to implement a statewide option. This statewide option would cost Floridians almost as much as implementing the plan on a nationwide scale, and would force Florida to raise its own funds through an increase in its sales tax from the current six percent to 39 percent to meet the increase in spending. Assuming this sales tax rate increase is unrealistic, the only other major option to implement a Florida single-payer-style system would be to implement an income tax in Florida. However, Florida’s state Constitution prohibits taxation of personal income and would have to be amended by a two-thirds vote of the people in order to institute an income tax. And even if voters gave state government the authority to tax personal income, Florida’s income tax rate would have to be 37 percent on federally-taxable personal income, making it the highest income tax rate of any state, exceeding personal income tax rates in California, New York, and New Jersey.” (Dr. J. Antonio Vilamil & Donna Arduin, “Election 2018: Platforms, Proposals, Projections,” The James Madison Institute, 10/15/2018).
A 37% State Income Tax Would Drop Florida’s Average Wage from $40,750 to $25,673. “A 37 percent income tax would represent a significant wage cut for Floridians. For example, the median teacher salary in Florida is $45,521. Even after Candidate Gillum’s proposed raise to $50,000, the median teacher’s take home salary would be $31,500, or a 30 percent pay cut from today’s median salary. Looking at the state as a whole, Florida’s average wage of $40,750 would drop to $25,673 as a result of the onset of a 37 percent income tax.” (Dr. J. Antonio Vilamil & Donna Arduin, “Election 2018: Platforms, Proposals, Projections,” The James Madison Institute, 10/15/2018).
Ron DeSantis Will Focus on Improving Education and Increasing Availability of High Wage Jobs to Help Expand Coverage. “Instead, he wants to rely on an improving economy with better-paying jobs that will help people afford coverage. ‘We’ve got to increase access and drive down costs on health care,’ DeSantis said in an email. ‘The best way we can do that is to make sure we are creating an environment where everyone has a great education that leads to a job where they are covered or they have the ability to buy their own insurance in the market.’” (Gray Rohrer, “Ron DeSantis, Andrew Gillum split on health care as reforms stall in Legislature, Congress,” Orlando Sentinel, 9/15/2018).
Ron DeSantis Supports Policies to Lower Healthcare Prices and Increase Competition in the Healthcare Marketplace. “DeSantis also indicated he would back proposals to install direct primary care models, in which patients pay a monthly rate directly to doctors and cut out insurers. He said he would expand telemedicine and ease regulations for building new hospitals. Such policies would add private-sector competition and lower prices, he argues.” (Gray Rohrer, “Ron DeSantis, Andrew Gillum split on health care as reforms stall in Legislature, Congress,” Orlando Sentinel, 9/15/2018).