Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom is gambling his political future and the California governor’s race on a universal, single-payer health care proposal modeled after the one he brought to the city of San Francisco.
Unlike Newsom’s previous plan, the new one would reportedly provide health coverage to illegal aliens.
The Sacramento Bee editorial board interviewed the Lieutenant Governor, fawning over Newsom’s latest move as the editors took an obligatory swipe at President Donald Trump: “Newsom . . . is staking out an ambitious plan to rein in rising health care costs, expand universal access to people across the state regardless of income or immigration status, and preserve coverage for the estimated 5 million Californians who risk losing their insurance under President Donald Trump’s changes.”
“I think we can learn a lot for the state of California from what we did with Healthy San Francisco,” Newsom told the Bee‘s Editorial Board. “We had the resourcefulness, the resources, and the boldness and audacity to try something new.”
Newsom has not commented, however, on the fact that his proposal would be largely dependent on massive state and federal funding — much of which could be cut off by Washington.
Tapping the same health care experts who helped him create a blueprint for San Francisco’s single-payer, universal health plan, Newsom hopes to introduce details of his new statewide plan soon.
It may be an uphill battle — even in a place as liberal as California.
According to a 2016 poll conducted by USC Dornslife and the Los Angeles Times, ObamaCare was unpopular with a plurality (48%) of California voters. An analysis of that poll in Forbes suggested that Californians are deeply concerned about having to give up their doctor and health care options that are important to them in order to subsidize free healthcare for others.
Sen. Ricardo Lara’s (D-Bell Gardens) also has a radical “single-payer” proposal to cover illegal aliens, which is moving through the legislature, parallel to Newsom’s own plan. It is a familiar position for Newsom.
This past election cycle, Newsom was largely spectator as almost every plank of his anti-gun ballot initiative was co-opted by Senate President pro tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and other Democrat legislators, and made into law before Newsom’s proposal could receive a single vote.
Meanwhile, as the competition for the highest prize in California politics — the governor’s office — is heating up, Newsom’s biggest challenge may not be his opponents: it may be himself.
Positioning himself to the left of Gov. Jerry Brown, at a time when the national political paradigm seems to be moving in the opposite direction, could be a huge mistake.
Newsom is likely to be targeted for his controversial support of “sanctuary city “policies in San Francisco. And his aggressive anti-gun ballot initiative is not likely to be forgotten by single-issue Second Amendment voters — many of whom are blue collar Democrats, and younger “Decline to State” voters.
In addition, the near-collapse of the Oroville Dam spillway may be fresh in the minds of voters in 2018. Newsom, unlike many of his opponents, will not be allowed to shrug his shoulders and blame Gov. Brown.