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Calif. Democratic candidate for governor promises single payer for all legal and illegal residents

California Lt. Gov. and gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom (right) and San Francisco mayor London Breed (center) visit the Alice Griffith Apartments on Aug. 22 in San Francisco. In an interview that aired on Tuesday, Newsom said that he wants to bring single payer health care to both legal and illegal residents of his state. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is running for governor, said in an interview posted on Tuesday that if he wins his election in November (which is likely), he plans to bring single-payer health care to everyone in his state, regardless of their immigration status.

Who is Gavin Newsom?

Before becoming the state's lieutenant governor, Newsom was the mayor of San Francisco. As mayor, he instituted single-payer health care for the city. Under his watch, the city's homeless population nearly doubled, increasing from 7,000 to 12,000, a topic that was also discussed during the interview.

Newsom argued in a separate interview Tuesday that the city's homeless problem couldn't be solved by the local government, because much of the homeless population came from outside the city or even outside the state.

Newsom, a Democrat, is running against Republican John Cox in the race for California governor. The two will face off in the Nov. 6 general election.

What did he say?

During Tuesday's episode of the "Pod Save America," Newsom was asked if he planned to revive a single-payer health care bill that had died in the state Assembly. Newsom confirmed that he did and that the governor would have to lead such a measure.

"Obamacare would not have happened if it was just exclusively a legislative fiat," he argued. "The only way that a state whose population is larger than 163 nations — California's economy is larger than all but four nations, the fifth largest economy — to approximate a strategy for universal health care is with the support, concurrence of the governor."

Newsom said that once the new system was in place, health care costs would not be unmanageably high.

"The mistake we make is that we allow lazily a CBO [Congressional Budget Office] report to come out, and somehow suggest that we're going to build on top of an existing system, when in fact we're replacing the existing system with a completely new system," he said.

Newsom also insisted that it was "the transition that's the challenge. It's going from something old to something new where the whitewater is. And that's going to be the struggle for those that are promoting it on a federal level, those that promote it at a state level, and that's where the nuance and the detail lie."

A state financial analysis determined that remaking the state's health insurance market would cost California taxpayers $400 billion. An additional $200 billion would be needed to create a single-payer system. The state's entire annual proposed budget for 2017 at the time the analysis was completed was only $180 billion.

One last thing…
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