Health Care, Gun Control And The Environment Will Rule The Florida Governor Race
The Florida primary races for Governor were a stunner. Not so much on the Republican side – Ron DeSantis handily won over the right wing at Trump’s bidding. The big news is on the Democratic side – Andrew Gillum pulled in the vote. He is a young, charismatic progressive, and now we’ll have an energetic race of two anti-establishment candidates.
This will be interesting. Living in the heavily conservative northeast Florida area, I can vouch that the political mood is changing. Health care, gun control, and the horrible red tide are on the top of everyone’s mind, and Floridians want solutions. These issues just might turn the state blue.
Governor Rick Scott did not expand Medicaid, and now Florida ranks 45th in the nation in uninsured people – 13.3% of the population is without health insurance. Health care costs are skyrocketing and people are tired of an inefficient and unfriendly system. The beat of Medicare for All is beginning to resonate. Ron DeSantis will have a tough time if he wholeheartedly supports President Trump’s non-existent health care reform policies. On the other hand, Andrew Gillum has stated he will expand Medicaid under the ACA and supports a transition to Medicare for All. The expansion of Medicaid will be a big lift to get out the vote for Gillum this fall.
The challenge for Gillum and other progressives around the nation who urge a move to Medicare for All is that they lack a roadmap for how to get there from our current system. The cost isn’t an issue – a single payer system will be much less expensive. We’ll switch from paying insurers and providers to paying more taxes so the government can pay the providers – the extra cost of the middleman insurer would be taken out of the system. This will reduce how much we all pay.
The “sticky wicket” will be what happens to the people who work in such a bloated system? There are millions of people working in medical coding, billing, and the health insurance industry. What will happen to these jobs? Fear of change runs high, and the progressives will need to develop a message on how they will actually fix the health care system, not just how they will pay for the health care system. This issue won’t hurt Gillum too much in this fall election – we’ll see the real fights over this in 2020.