Republican leaders in the Virginia House of Delegates responded Monday to the 16 Virginia Democratic candidates for the House of Delegates calling for a european-style single-payer healthcare system in the Commonwealth. Led by Lee Carter (D-50) and Elizabeth Guzman (D-31), the 16 House Democrat candidates endorsed a system that they themselves project will cost $23 billion per year and “require an exercise of the General Assembly’s taxation authority on a scale not seen before.” A full copy of the proposal can be found here.
“I am astounded that Minority Leader David Toscano’s slate of Democratic candidates think a european-style, single-payer system is the right approach for Virginia,” said House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford). “Using their own estimates, which are likely far below the true cost, this plan would more than double the general fund budget, sucking billions of dollars away from K-12 education and public safety while requiring an unconscionable tax increase on the middle class and small businesses.”
In their proposal, House Democrats write, “Judging by the performance of Austria’s system, the people of Virginia can expect such a system to cost over $45 billion per year. Just under half of this cost is already handled by Medicare and Medicaid, which currently account for $12.6 billion and $8.6 billion of Virginia’s current annual healthcare spending. Bringing the function of health insurance wholly under the purview of the Commonwealth of Virginia will thus require an exercise of the General Assembly’s taxation authority on a scale not seen before, an estimated increase of at least $23 billion per year. This price tag, which is staggering in the abstract, actually represents a massive cost savings for the people and businesses of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
Commenting on the plan Speaker-designee Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) said, “Democrats admit the $23 billion price tag for their complete government takeover of health care is “staggering,” and that’s probably an understatement. The fact that so many candidates recruited by Minority Leader Toscano and Chairwoman Herring were willing to line up today to endorse this plan shows just how far left Virginia Democrats have moved.”
“With Obamacare on life support and many Virginians facing double-digit premium increases in 2018, Democrats apparently think the answer is to double down,” said Majority Leader-designee Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah). “It is hard to describe how far out of touch Ralph Northam’s party has become.”
“Northern Virginia families want their elected leaders to balance the budget, improve traffic congestion, and make sure our schools are fully funded,” said Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax). “This plan makes all three of those impossible. Creating a $23 billion healthcare system would wreck our budget, divert dollars away from much-needed transportation investments, and devastate our public school system.”
“We’ve always known that my opponent is a Bernie Sanders liberal who wants state-run single-payer healthcare, we just never thought he would admit it,” said House Majority Whip Jackson Miller (R-Manassas). “This proposal demonstrates the clear choice voters have in this election.”
The cost for other state-run single payer systems are astronomically high. Vermont failed to implement its proposed single payer plan, which would have more than doubled the state budget. California recently proposed a state-run single payer healthcare system and cost estimates quickly soared past $400 billion per year.