A socialist candidate for governor of Florida joined CNN’s Dana Bash for an interview Sunday during which he struggled to explain how he would fund Medicare for all.
“First of all, and I want to be clear about this, the state of Florida could not take this road by itself,” said Andrew Gillum, current mayor of Tallahassee. “We would need to [impose Medicare for all] as part of a federation of states coming together.”
When pressed, Gillum promised that taxes would not need to be raised in order to fund Medicare for all, which according to a George Mason University study, would cost $33 trillion.
“I don’t buy that [taxes would need to be raised],” Gillum said. “First I’d say – one – Florida could not do it by itself. But secondly, we have the opportunity to expand Medicaid for up to 700,000 of the most medically needy people here in the state of Florida.”
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Gillum then bashed President Donald J. Trump and Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) and launched into a diatribe about his rough childhood, where he had to get his teeth cleaned at a mobile dental clinic and calling the issue “personal.”
The story was a typical politician’s red herring, meant to distract from the question at hand and garner sympathy in the absence of a real answer.
To Bash’s credit, she forced Gillum back on track, pressing him again to answer how he would accomplish his goal without raising taxes.
“The first step we would take is expand Medicaid and pull down about $6 billion from the federal government,” Gillum said. “Secondly, as governor of the state of Florida I would work to bring a number of states into the conversation around how it is, together, we might be able to negotiate prices and access to healthcare to cover more people.”
Finally, Gillum was forced to admit that he will in fact need to raise taxes in order to accomplish his goal.
“I will absolutely not raise taxes on everyday working Floridians,” he said. “So what I said – and I ran on this by the way – is that we will increase taxes for corporations in our state who right now.”
He then continued to bash Trump, calling Trump’s tax cuts which have been wildly popular among those “everyday working people” whom Gillum referenced, the “GOP tax scam.”
He introduced the fallacy that corporations received more of a tax break than average citizens, which is a mathematical truism given that corporations pay a huge amount more in taxes in than the average person.
The entire segment was akin to Gillum walking on a tightrope, obviously knowing that he will need to increase taxes to pay for his socialist healthcare plan, but also understanding that campaigning on raising taxes is not a smart strategy.
Watch it here.
Follow Peter D’Abrosca on Twitter: @pdabrosca