How a Health Care Safety Net for the Poor Became California’s Top Priority

Medi-Cal’s Rapid Expansion Is a Triumph—And an Opportunity

Welcome, Californians, to the era of Medi-Cal for All.

“Medicare for All,” the political dream of extending federal health program for the elderly and disabled to all Americans, still gets the headlines. But here in the nation’s most populous state, it is Medicaid—or Medi-Cal, as the federal health program for the poor is called in California—that comes closest to providing a universal safety net. Medi-Cal deserves more attention now because its no-or-low-cost health services provide a vital backstop in this time of pandemic and freefalling employment, and because it holds possibilities …

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Why Americans Still Eat Barbecue on July Fourth | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Americans Still Eat Barbecue on July Fourth

More Than Two Centuries Ago, Roasted Meat Met Independence Day and Hasn’t Left the National Consciousness Since

Dearly beloved, we are gathered in this moment to celebrate the culinary union of barbecue (a.k.a. barbeque, bar-b-que, bar-b-q, and BBQ) and Independence Day (a.k.a. July 4 or “the Fourth …

The Shiny Sacramento Statue That Reflects California’s Failures | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Shiny Sacramento Statue That Reflects California’s Failures

As the State Continues to Expand Its Authority, Local and Regional Communities—Including the Capital Itself—Suffer

There may be no better symbol of Sacramento’s failure as California’s capital than the 18-foot-tall stainless-steel sculpture outside the city’s downtown sports arena. The work, by famed contemporary artist Jeff …

The Forbidding Little Adriatic Island Where Quarantine Began | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Forbidding Little Adriatic Island Where Quarantine Began

From Its 14th-Century Roots, the Ritual of Self-Isolation During Plagues Offers Insights on Our Current Situation

The island of Mrkan, one of over a thousand islands off the Dalmatian coast, is both idyllic and grim. Its precipitous pale cliffs, set against the turquoise Adriatic Sea, make …