Many countries, such as the UK, have universal healthcare which is free and widely available to residents of that country. While there have been previous questions on why state-run and national universal healthcare systems don't exist in the US, I am curious if there are any active existing examples of universal healthcare, paid by local US government, through taxes, whether that is county, city or in a town?

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    Vermont passed single-payer in 2010 but had to abandon the plan in 2014 because of costs (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermont_health_care_reform). That's the closest any sub-national entity has come. Nov 1, 2022 at 21:12
  • Oregon Health Plan is means tested. Measure 111 is being voted on next week. It amends the state constitution to 'establish health care as a fundamental right [and] obligates the state to provide Oregon residents “access to cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable health care."' However, there is yet no implementation.
    – Schwern
    Nov 1, 2022 at 23:18
  • I think calling the UK healthcare 'free' is fairly misleading, a significant part of every paycheck goes to pay for it. It is an insurance in the sense that you pay a fixed montly amount, regardless of whether and how much healthcare you need, so you don't pay when you visit the doctor but that is not the same as free.
    – quarague
    Nov 2, 2022 at 19:17
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    @quarague What you said is partially true, while you do have to pay for perscriptions, and dental work, there is no need to swipe your credit card before receiving care on the NHS. I would call the NHS free in that anyone, no matter their wealth, is given medical care, including the homeless and those on Benefits. Healthcare is paid through VAT and taxes. What’s my source you ask? Going numerous times as a child and student to the GP, A&E, and volunteering in charity with homeless, and not needing to whip out an insurance card, cash or credit card ever.
    – Boolean
    Nov 2, 2022 at 22:33

1 Answer 1


This is a partial answer. Vermont had plans for a single-payer health care system, but in the 2014 the plan failed because the state could not find the budget to cover the expenses (quantified in 2 bilions $, for a budget that normally is of ~8 bilions $).

Side commment: Funnily enough, the average health insurance cost in the Vermont state is 468$ per month per person. Vermont has ~600'000 inhabitants, of whom only 3% is not insured. since 300'000 people are privately insured, with the rest being covered by alternative programs (medicare, meidcaid, etc) ... the planned budget would have made cheaper health insurance for Vermont inhabitants on the whole.

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