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Data: Kaiser Family Foundation survey of 1,212 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 16–22, 2020. Margin of error ±3 percentage points; Chart: Axios Visuals

While Democratic presidential candidates are deeply divided between Medicare for All and a public insurance option, Democratic voters seem to be cool with either one, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

The big picture: Sizeable majorities of both Democrats and independents in the Kaiser poll said they approve of a single national health insurance system, and larger majorities said they like the idea of a public program competing alongside private insurance.

Between the lines: Big majorities expect their taxes to go up under either plan, but still seem ready to accept that trade-off.

My thought bubble: Consider these results in the context of Sen. Bernie Sanders' rise in 2020 polling.

  • Neither Sanders nor Medicare for All has actually won anything yet — not an argument within the Democratic Party, much less a broader political argument up against the full force of industry and GOP attacks, much less an actual legislative victory.
  • And they may not end up winning any of those fights. But the first step would be to build a sufficiently large and enthusiastic base of Democrats, and if you were part of that effort, you’d have to be pretty happy about the way this is going right now.

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