Bernie Sanders is offering a lot of government services, including “Medicare for all,” which promises to pay for everyone’s healthcare. So when he becomes president, will he raise taxes on the middle class? Sanders was offered up this question as a lead-off in the June 27 Democratic presidential debate. He blathered for a full minute without answering, then he had to be asked a second time before he finally produced an answer: “Yes, they will pay more in taxes,” he said, “but less in healthcare.”
OK, maybe. But this answer actually raises far more questions than it answers.
The first and most uncomfortable question was raised moments later in the same debate by Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet. Bernie Sanders’ home state of Vermont, governed entirely by Democrats at the time, killed off its proposal for single-payer healthcare. Democratic Gov. Pete Shumlin signed the bill to implement the program in 2011. He also pulled the plug on the program in 2015 when he found out that it would double his state’s budget. Vermonters would have had to pay an 11.5% payroll tax, plus a 9-point increase in the state income tax.
In Colorado, voters rejected single-payer healthcare for the same reason, with 79% voting against a plan that would have more than doubled their state budget. And in California, where Democrats have the power to do just about any crazy thing they like, Democrats killed their own Healthy California single-payer healthcare plan because it would have tripled their state budget.