The healthcare debate may have simmered down in Congress, but it’s heating up in Virginia. This week, Democratic candidates for the House of Delegates rolled out a proposal for a single payer healthcare system. But Republicans in office quickly shot it down.
In a statement, Virginia’s Speaker of the House Bill Howell says the plan’s estimated cost of $23 billion is more than double the state’s current general fund budget, and would require an unconscionable tax increase.
The plan, proposed by 16 Democratic candidates for the state General Assembly, is to create a state-run health insurance program, no premiums for anyone, with the option of private insurance for those who can afford it. Employers wouldn’t have to provide healthcare, and doctors could cut down on overhead.
“You know it’s not going to be a one and done type thing, this is the sort of thing where it’s going to be a long protracted fight,” says House of Delegates candidate Lee Carter.
But that’s a fight unlikely to go anywhere fast, if Carter and his fellow Democrats don’t win office this November.