Jun 16, 2018

Democrats' next war: "Medicare for All"

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Democrats of all stripes are embracing some form of "Medicare for All." Now they just have to decide what that means.

  • For Sen. Bernie Sanders, it means scrapping the entire U.S. health care system and moving everyone into a pure single-payer system with no role for private insurance.
  • For more moderate Democrats, it means letting people buy into the existing Medicare program (which relies on private insurers pretty heavily) or establishing a new public insurance option alongside private coverage.

But the core idea is the same: The government should cover more people.

The odds: Medicare for All isn't imminent. But universal, government-provided coverage is legitimately on the table for the first time since the '70s, and that makes incremental steps toward universal coverage far more likely.

  • Polls show that people support both "single-payer" and Medicare for All, but that support is soft.
  • Even narrowly factual arguments against it — like, the government would be in charge — cause supporters to change their minds. And the attacks would be a lot stronger than that if and when any real political push actually happens.

The takeaway: Medicare for All is a microcosm of the broader divides within the Democratic Party. The party's top 2020 contenders in the Senate have all signed on to Sanders' plan, while many more moderate Democrats are afraid the party is moving too far left on an issue that hurt them badly in 2010 and 2014.

Go deeper: Medicare for All is a winner in Democratic primaries.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,014,673 — Total deaths: 52,973 — Total recoveries: 210,335Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 244,678 — Total deaths: 5,911 — Total recoveries: 9,058Map.
  3. 2020 updates: The Democratic National Committee said its July convention will be postponed until August because of the coronavirus. A federal judge declined to delay Wisconsin's April 7 primary election.
  4. Jobs latest: Coronavirus unemployment numbers are like a natural disaster hitting every state.
  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci called for all states across the U.S. to issue stay-at-home orders. The FDA will allow blood donations from gay men after 3-month waiting period, citing "urgent need."
  6. Business latest: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said oil companies are eligible for aid from new lending programs the Federal Reserve is setting up, but not direct loans from his department.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Navy removes captain of aircraft carrier who sounded alarm about coronavirus.
  8. 1 future thing: In developing countries, consequences of COVID-19 could be deeper and far more difficult to recover from.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Mark Meadows considers new White House press secretary

Photos: Alyssa Farah, Defense Department; Stephanie Grisham, Alex Wong/Getty Images; Kayleigh McEnany, Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has privately discussed bringing on Pentagon spokesperson Alyssa Farah or Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany as a new White House press secretary, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Meadows' start on Tuesday as Trump's new chief presents a chance to overhaul a press shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

CNN: Fauci advises all states issue stay-at-home orders

Dr. Anthony Fauci listens to President Trump speak during a briefing on April 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci recommended on Thursday that all states across the U.S. implement stay-at-home orders, at a CNN town hall.

Why it matters: The recommendation stands in contrast to President Trump's calls for "flexibility." Nearly 4o states have issued stay-at-home orders to promote social distancing as a way to combat the novel coronavirus — but the orders vary in strictness and duration.

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