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Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Tonight's primary elections will include an important referendum on a growing trend: Progressive gubernatorial candidates vowing to implement some form of single-payer at the state level.

What to watch: Michigan's Democratic primary, which will be held tonight, includes Abdul el-Sayed — a progressive candidate (and former Detroit health commissioner) who has said he'll bring "Medicare for All" to Michigan.

No state has ever made single-payer work. But that's not stopping a handful of Democratic candidates from promising to try. The Washington Post's Dave Weigel runs through some of them:

  • Maryland's Ben Jealous and Massachusetts' Jay Gonzalez are both campaigning on "Medicare for All" as they try to defeat extremely popular moderate Republican governors in their respective blue states.
  • Cynthia Nixon, challenging New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo from the left, has endorsed an expansive health care overhaul there.
  • California Lieutenant Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has already won his primary, is also promoting the idea for California.

The problem is money. States would largely have to pay for their versions of single-payer on top of existing federal programs, not instead of them.

  • Medicare and the taxes that fund it, for example, are both federal programs that states — unlike the federal government — don't have the power to fold into some other system.

Why it matters: As unlikely as state-level single-payer might be, gubernatorial candidates' embrace of the idea is still a clear sign of where Democrats are headed.

Go deeper: Axios followed el-Sayed last week as he campaigned with newly minted progressive icon Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Go deeper

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged that Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

1 hour ago - Podcasts

Google's chief health officer Karen DeSalvo on vaccinating America

Google on Monday became the latest Big Tech company to get involved with COVID-19 vaccinations. Not just by doing things like incorporating vaccination sites into its maps, but by helping to turn some of its offices and parking lots into vaccination sites.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Google is doing, and why now, with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer who previously worked at HHS and as health commissioner for New Orleans.

Biden signs order overturning Trump's transgender military ban

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Biden signed an executive order on Monday overturning the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

Why it matters: The ban, which allowed the military to bar openly transgender recruits and discharge people for not living as their sex assigned at birth, affected up to 15,000 service members, according to tallies from the National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender American Veterans Association.