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Can California and NYC Afford Their Near-Universal Health-Care Plans?

Updated: Jan 15, 2022

Gov. Gavin Newsom and Mayor Bill de Blasio initiated ambitious plans this week to cover drastically more residents, including undocumented immigrants who are not currently eligible for subsidized insurance.

Can a city or a state afford near-universal health care? New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and California’s newly sworn-in governor, Gavin Newsom, think so. Earlier this week, both Democratic leaders initiated ambitious plans that would move their jurisdictions toward universal coverage, an idea that has gained traction in progressive circles thanks to support from leaders on Capitol Hill, including Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The popular progressive platform permeated state and local politics in the midterm elections. Washington state came close to putting the matter before voters as a ballot initiative; it failed to get enough signatures to qualify. Newsom, meanwhile, campaigned on single-payer, a form of universal health care that has yet to be successfully implemented in any state because of cost concerns.



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