It’s four more days until the big Democratic primary in New York, and gubernatorial candidate (and actress) Cynthia Nixon is pulling out all the stops. In an interview this week, she returned to one of the favorite talking points of Democratic socialists these days, Medicare for all. Speaking with the New York Daily News, Nixon was adamant that lawmakers should move forward and pass “her plan” rather than listening to Governor Andrew Cuomo who has managed to resist the idea so far. And how will New York pay for this massive show of generosity to its residents? Nixon openly admits she has no plan for that, but they can figure it out later. (Free Beacon)
New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon (D.) said in a new interview that lawmakers should pass her plan for a state universal health care program before they figure out how to fund it, adding that she does not have a way to pay for it.
“Pass it and then figure out how to fund it,” Nixon told the New York Daily News editorial board on Wednesday, adding that she does not have a plan to pay for the program.
Nixon, a former “Sex and the City” actress turned progressive activist, has made universal health care a cornerstone of her campaign, despite providing few details on how such a program would be funded. She said Wednesday there is an “enormous desire” for a single-payer system.
Hey… wait a minute here, Ms. Nixon. Are you stealing your ideas from MSNBC host Chris Hayes now? Because he had the exact same [lack of any] plan earlier this summer.
I think a good answer for "How will you pay for your agenda?" is "We're a very rich country. We'll figure it out."
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) July 27, 2018
In some ways, it’s almost hard to criticize Nixon for offering such an idea when the federal government (under the control of both parties) does the same thing every year. But states don’t have the option of running up that sort of general fund debt. With that in mind, it’s worth noting that California had this exact same debate not all that long ago and the plan was abandoned. Why? Because the cost would have dwarfed the entire state budget.
New York isn’t quite as large as California but it’s still a very large state with a hefty budget and a population just shy of 20 million according to the last census. So how much would it cost to put all of those people on single payer government provided healthcare? As the Free Beacon notes, this question has already been examined by government auditors. The initial cost is difficult to pin down, but the best estimates put it somewhere between $96B $200B. The current, estimated 2019 budget for the entire state government is $168B.
A similar proposal put forward last year was analyzed to see what it would cost over the first decade. The bill came to $139B in 2022, increasing gradually to $210B in 2031. And that’s just to cover the cost of the health plan. New York expects to collect $89B in tax revenue (from all sources combined) in 2022, and that barely keeps the lights on under the current system. So Cynthia Nixon, in her first term as governor, would have to “figure out later” where she was going to come up with an additional nearly 200 billion dollars in taxes from whatever percentage of our 20 million people are actually working and paying taxes.
But hey… what do I know? Go ahead and elect the Democratic socialist. I’ll probably be moving to West Virginia by then anyway. So long, suckers!