Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum acknowledged Sunday that his “Medicare for all” plan would require increasing taxes on corporations in his home state.
Gillum said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he would “absolutely not raise taxes on everyday working Floridians” to institute the proposal. Pressed on whether wealthier Floridians would see a tax hike, he said corporations would front the plan.
“We will increase taxes for corporations in our state who, right now, just so you are aware, only 3% of companies in the state of Florida pay the corporate tax rate. … And that 3% under the Donald Trump tax scam got a windfall of $6.3 billion overnight due to the tax reform that took place in Washington, DC,” Gillum said.
“We’re not asking for all of it,” he continued. “We simply said we believe that we ought to bring a billion of that money back into the state’s government because being a cheap-date state has not worked for the state of Florida.”
A spokesman for Gillum said the mayor was citing an analysis by the left-leaning Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy in 2015 that said only about 53,000 corporations in Florida, or about 3 percent of the total, paid any state corporate income tax.
Gillum, currently the mayor of Tallahassee, has said he is in favor of raising Florida’s corporate tax rate from 5.5% to 7.75%, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He has said those funds would go toward education.
Gillum also acknowledged that a “Medicare for all” proposal would be too costly for Florida to tackle alone and that he “would work to bring a number of the larger states into a conversation around how it is together we might be able to negotiate prices and access health care to cover more people.”
“The state of Florida could not take this road by itself. We would need to do it as part of a federation of other states coming together. Think of Florida, New York, California and a few of the other larger states,” he said.
He also said Florida has “the opportunity” to expand Medicaid to more than 700,000 “of the most medically needy people here in the state of Florida. My governor and legislature refused to do that. Do you know it costs us about $6 billion in money that should have come from the federal government to the state of Florida that we never received?”
“So the first step we would take is expand Medicaid and pull down about $6 billion a year from the federal government. That’s important,” he added.