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Andrew Gillum says Florida can't do single-payer alone

Andrew Gillum interview
Gillum makes federal "Medicare for All" part of state campaign platform 01:55

Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has been a vocal advocate of a Bernie Sanders "Medicare for All" approach to health care coverage, but he acknowledges that there are some hurdles that would be difficult to surmount, should he be elected. If Floridians vote him into the governor's mansion, he says he'll expand Medicaid to increase health care coverage. In an interview with CBSN's Elaine Quijano, Gillum explained why single-payer health care would be impractical for Florida to adopt unilaterally.

"I've endorsed 'Medicare for All' at the federal level," he said. "I do not believe a state can accomplish that on its own. If a state did, it would probably find itself bankrupt pretty quickly, and largely because in a state like Florida, as you get the sickest pool coming to one location, the system would collapse under the weight of it."

Should a larger group of states decide to marshal their economic leverage, however, Gillum thinks "Medicare for All" would be worth considering. 

"If states were to make that move, the options might be to find a consortium of states who might be able to come together -- cull together the buying power and the negotiating power of a collection of states to figure out whether or not we could in fact increase access and lower costs," he told Quijano in an interview in Jacksonville, Florida Thursday. 

Gillum also noted that it would be "quite a lift" to convince the GOP-led Florida legislature to pass such a plan.

As governor, he plans to focus on a less ambitious plan to expand Medicaid, which would provide health insurance coverage for poorer Floridians. "We're going to expand access to health care by expanding Medicaid in my state," he said. 

"I think folks here in Florida are going to want to know that I've got a pragmatic way of moving that policy forward," he told Quijano. Still, it's unlikely that the Florida state House would pass a Medicaid expansion either. 

Gillum's opponent ,Ron DeSantis, told Quijano Thursday that he supports healthcare protections for pre-existing conditions. "If there happens to be a change in federal law and if there are people who fall through the cracks, I would sign a bill to take care of them," he said. However, DeSantis has not unveiled a health care plan, and his issues page does not include health care.

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