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Dave Ross

Do Bernie Sanders supporters really support him that much?

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., gestures during the CNN Democratic Presidential Primary Debate with Hillary Clinton at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Thursday, April 14, 2016 in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The Bernie Sanders crowd was fired up at Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate in Brooklyn and so was he.

“My proposal, a Medicare-for-all single-payer program, will save middle-class families many thousands of dollars a year,” Sanders said at the debate.

Well decided to put Sanders voters to the test, by asking a question most polls don’t ask: How much would you pay in additional taxes to make Sanders’ health care plan possible? Keep in mind, this is among Sanders’ own supporters.

A total of 9 percent said zero. Another 34 percent said $500 was their maximum. Another 23 percent said they wouldn’t go above $1,000. And by the time you get to $5,000, a total of 91 percent of Sanders supporters in this poll said they wouldn’t pay that much in new taxes.

Which is significant because for a family of four earning $50,000, his plan would raise taxes by just over $5,000.

Now, it would also mean no one has to pay insurance premiums. But for people already getting insurance through their companies, they might not see any savings.

And so you might legitimately ask, just as Sanders put forth during the debate: “How it could be that every other major country on Earth manages to guarantee healthcare to all of their people?”

And the answer is — because they pay vastly higher taxes. Move to Canada and your taxes go up 18 percent. Move to the UK? They go up 25 percent. Move to France and they go up 76 percent compared to what you pay here.

However — it’s true — your health care would be 100 percent free! And the cafes there are charming.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

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About the Author

Dave Ross

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.


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