CALIFORNIA GOV. Gavin Newsom (D) wasted no time making a splash, announcing on Monday, his inauguration day, a major new health-care initiative that would make his state a leader in resisting Republican efforts to unravel the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Newsom’s plan is a promising reform that other states — and, if Congress and the president ever come to their senses, the federal government — should consider.

As have many progressive politicians, Mr. Newsom has embraced a Medicare-for-all-like “single payer” system. But his opening health-care push is more practical, adding to the existing Obamacare framework rather than scrapping it for a more radical change. The governor would start by reimposing the individual mandate that congressional Republicans killed in 2017. As when the federal government requirement was still enforced, the state-level mandate would compel every Californian to carry decent health-care coverage or pay a penalty. Doing so would draw more people — particularly younger and healthier people — into the state’s insurance pool, keeping average costs down for everyone.

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