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

2 mins ago - Health

The two sides of America's coronavirus response

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

America's bungled political and social response to the coronavirus exists side-by-side with a record-breaking push to create a vaccine with U.S. companies and scientists at the center.

Why it matters: America's two-sided response serves as an X-ray of the country itself — still capable of world-beating feats at the high end, but increasingly struggling with what should be the simple business of governing itself.

Joe Biden introduces Kamala Harris in first joint appearance

Joe Biden formally introduced Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Wednesday, telling a socially-distanced gymnasium in Wilmington, Del.: "I have no doubt that I picked the right person to join me as the next vice president of the United States of America."

Why it matters: Harris is a historic pick for vice president, becoming the first Black woman and first South Asian woman to be named to a major-party U.S. presidential ticket. "Kamala knows how to govern," Biden said. "She knows how to make the hard calls. She is ready to do this job on day one."

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 20,439,274 — Total deaths: 744,941— Total recoveries: 12,632,604Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,180,226 — Total deaths: 165,510 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says Mnuchin called her, White House is "not budging" on stimulus position.
  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
  5. Public health: America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  6. Education: New Jersey governor allows schools to reopenGallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.