Progressive activists admitted that a government-run healthcare system, or one Medicare for All proposal, does not poll well with voters, according to a report on Thursday.
In a Washington Post report this week that highlights Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) refusal to endorse Medicare for All, one progressive activist admitted to the Post that a government-run, single-payer healthcare system does not poll well. The activist added that a government-run healthcare system also does not sit well with voters if they are told what the radical new healthcare system might entail.
Readers should note that not all Medicare for All proposals would eliminate private health insurance and replace it with a single-payer, government-run healthcare system. Many proposals include a “public option,” or allowing Americans to buy into Medicare.
Multiple polls have shown that eliminating private health insurance through a single-payer Medicare for All-style program has little support amongst voters. A Hill-HarrisX poll released in February found only 13 percent of Americans would back Medicare for All if it eliminated private health insurance.
Similarly, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 56 percent of Americans favor Medicare for All, but Americans’ favorability for the Medicare for All fell to 37 percent when they discovered it would eliminate private health insurance.
The Post suggested that this might explain why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has focused on expanding and improving Obamacare rather than passing a Bernie Sanders-style Medicare for All bill. A Pelosi aide reportedly told health insurance executives in December that they will not push for Medicare for All in the congressional term and, instead, focus on increasing Obamacare enrollment.
Further, the 2020 Democrat presidential candidates’ large embrace of Medicare for All raises questions about whether it might endanger their House majority because many Democrats who entered Congress for the first time in 2018 ran on protecting Obamacare and pre-existing conditions, not Medicare for All.
Some 2020 presidential candidates have faced backlash for their call to eliminate private health insurance with a government-run healthcare system. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) initially called for eliminating private health insurance and walked back that proposal less than one day after she made her radical proposal. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) previously dodged questions asking if his Medicare for All proposal would eliminate private health insurance.
In contrast, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who has mulled running for president, dismissed Medicare for All and pushed for expanding Obamacare instead.
“I want to help people now, and helping people now is building on the Affordable Care Act,” he said last week.