Who has tried this? Did it work?

Vermont tried to implement universal health care. In 2011, its Legislature approved a plan but did not initially include a way to pay for it. Three years later, then-Gov. Peter Shumlin, a strong backer of the plan, reversed his position and set it aside. A proposed 11.5 percent payroll tax on businesses and an individual income tax of up to 9.5 percent was not going to fly.

Shumlin said no one had mapped out what residents had been paying for health care and how it would change. There was fear the tax would increase each year and become untenable.