Expand chart
Adapted from Kaiser Family Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals

Public support for Medicare for All might have peaked, but it’s still a powerful idea among many Democrats.

By the numbers: Support for the national health plan rose from around 40% in 2000 to a high of 59% in March of 2018, but had slipped back to 51% by October of this year.

That's still a majority, but it’s narrow and headed in the wrong direction. And polling shows that support drops much further, and opposition rises, when people hear some of the most common arguments against Medicare for All.

Between the lines: Critics, debate moderators and the media have focused largely on two unpopular tradeoffs in a Medicare for All plan: the large number of Americans who would have to give up their private coverage; and the likelihood of a middle class tax hike to finance the plan.

  • · Sen. Elizabeth Warren took great pains to avoid one of those criticisms in crafting her financing plan, which does not include a tax hike for the middle class, but certainly includes other potential landmines.
  • Much less attention has been given to potential upsides, such as eliminating out-of-pocket costs, achieving universal coverage, or reducing the complexity of the health care system.

A public option, Medicare buy-in and other more incremental, voluntary and less expensive plans that are more difficult to make look threatening are more popular than Medicare for All.

Yes but: Support for Medicare for All is still strong among Democrats at 71%, so it remains an effective rallying cry for progressive Democrats in the primary.

Go deeper

Updated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Meadows confirms Trump's tweets "declassifying" Russia documents were false

Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed in court on Tuesday that President Trump's tweets authorizing the disclosure of documents related to the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton's emails "were not self-executing declassification orders," after a federal judge demanded that Trump be asked about his intentions.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold cited the tweets in an emergency motion seeking to gain access to special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. This is the first time Trump himself has indicated, according to Meadows, that his tweets are not official directives.

2 hours ago - World

China embraces hostage diplomacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Chinese government is threatening to detain foreign citizens unless their home governments do what Beijing demands. In some cases, China has already made good on those threats.

The big picture: This marks a potential evolution of China's "wolf warrior diplomacy" to outright rogue state behavior, putting it in the company of countries like North Korea and Iran, which have also engaged in hostage diplomacy.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!