Proponents of Medicare for All are right about one thing…
The Washington Post reports that “progressive activists have privately noted to [the paper that] the idea of a solely government-run health-care system doesn’t poll well with voters – that is, if what it might entail is explained to them.”
You read that correctly – even those pushing Medicare for All admit that the American public does not support their policy once they learn what it means.
And they’re right about that. In fact, a recent national poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that “net favorability drops as low as -44 percentage points when people hear the argument that this would lead to delays in some people getting some medical tests and treatments. Net favorability is also negative if people hear it would threaten the current Medicare program (-28 percentage points), require most Americans to pay more in taxes (-23 percentage points), or eliminate private health insurance companies (-21 percentage points).”
This helps explain why “[e]ven as progressives push for a Sen. Bernie Sanders-style bill to replace private health coverage with a government-run system, Democratic House leaders have tried to keep the focus on improving existing health-care programs,” as The Post also reports.
But it’s not just about polls. House Democratic leaders are well aware that the candidates who delivered the Majority in 2018 did not run on a platform of Medicare for All. In fact, not a single one of the 11 Democratic candidates who won in House districts where a majority of voters supported Republican presidential candidates in the past decade support Medicare for All and 74 percent of all House Democrats who won seats in Republican-leaning districts do not support Medicare for All. Instead, Democrats netted 40 U.S. House seats largely on an agenda of protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions and other policies aimed at preserving and strengthening our current health care system.
Whether it’s called Medicare for All, Medicare buy-in, single-payer or a public option, it would lead to a one-size-fits-all health care system that even advocates for these proposals admit Americans don’t want. So, instead of continuing to push for these unpopular policies that would disrupt our care, eliminate our entire system and make America start from scratch, why not help build upon all that is working in health care and fix what is broken?