Jan 30, 2020

Democrats like both Medicare for All and a public option

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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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What Iowa and New Hampshire tell us about Medicare for All

Reproduced from Kaiser Family Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals

Health care was voters’ top issue in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and it benefitted Sen. Bernie Sanders as well as his more moderate rivals.

The big picture: Sanders has emerged as a national front-runner thanks in part to a base that’s deeply committed to his Medicare for All plan, even as polling data indicate that more moderate ideas like a public option have a broader base of support.

Go deeperArrowFeb 14, 2020 - Health

AOC concedes Sanders may have to compromise on Medicare for All

Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders rally in Durham, New Hampshire on Feb. 10. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) conceded Thursday that Sen. Bernie Sanders' signature Medicare for All proposal would face congressional roadblocks if he was elected president, telling HuffPost: “A president can’t wave a magic wand and pass any legislation they want."

Why it matters: Ocasio-Cortez is a vocal proponent of Medicare for All and one of Sanders' highest-profile surrogates. She told HuffPost: "The worst-case scenario? We compromise deeply and we end up getting a public option. Is that a nightmare? I don’t think so."

Go deeperArrowFeb 13, 2020 - Health

Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy