This is the defining debate of the primary — and it's a fight that Sanders and Biden are eager to have.Dec 7, 2019
The health care debate is no longer a linear fightJun 16, 2018
It's really a patchwork, not a system.Updated Jun 16, 2018
As part of our What Matters 2020 series on the critical trends that will outlive this moment, Axios co-founders Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen discuss the soaring costs of the American health care system.
Health care has become the framework that defines the broader ideological and stylistic divisions within the Democratic primary — a contest between political revolution and Medicare for All vs. bipartisan compromise and a public option.
Yes, but: It's kind of a false choice. Passing either of those health care plans would require a knock-down, drag-out party-line brawl just as intense as the fight over the Affordable Care Act.
Even many supporters of Medicare for All don’t necessarily know how it would work.
The big picture: That doesn’t necessarily mean more information will turn supporters into opponents, but it shows that we’re still at an early stage in this debate, in which opinions about Medicare for All are often reflections of broader political alliances, not the details of a plan.
Democrats finally debated health care subjects other than Medicare for All on Tuesday night.
Why it matters: We have a much wider range of health care problems than political debates usually suggest. Discussing rural Americans' lack of access to health care may not be as exciting as debating whether to do away with private insurance, but it's a subject that many voters struggle with every day.
Republican voters have moved on from the Affordable Care Act, shifting their focus and opposition instead toward Medicare for All.
By the numbers: In our latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll, 19% of registered Republicans said opposition to Medicare for All is their top health care issue, compared to just 3% who said the same for opposition to the ACA.
Unions across the country are at odds over Medicare for All, with some saying it would free them up to focus on wages and working conditions, while others argue that the health benefits they've already won are better, Politico reports.
The big picture: The fight reflects the larger battle over Medicare for All, but is particularly acute in union-heavy states like California, New York and Michigan. This has all come to a head in Nevada, after the Culinary Workers Union slammed Medicare for All and didn't endorse any of the candidates, providing a portrait of how divisive the issue is within one of the Democratic party's most loyal institutions.
Go deeper ... Medicare for All: Where the Democratic candidates stand
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.
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."
Iowa Democrats reported Monday that their biggest priorities were beating President Trump and health care — but the meltdown of their election reporting systems left their presidential choices unresolved.
Why it matters: We've been writing for months that Democrats have a major choice ahead, either picking an advocate of Medicare for All — and siding with the plan that's less popular with the rest of the country — or a public option advocate.
America's mental health care system is in dire need of an overhaul, but the any real specifics are largely missing from the 2020 debate about health care.
Why it matters: Suicide and drug overdose rates continue to rise, and the U.S. faces a shortage of mental health providers and a lack of access to treatment.