Why 2020 Democrats Are Backing Off Medicare-For-All, In Four Charts
A notable number of the 2020 presidential candidates (save Sen. Bernie Sanders) who endorsed Medicare-for-all are starting to say it’s a long-term ambition rather than a practical policy proposal they would enact when in the White House.
“I finally was like, ‘I can’t make this circle fit into a square,’ ” said Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), who is one of the five senators running for president who endorsed Sanders’s Medicare-for-all bill in the Senate. (Sanders is one of the five.) The Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes and Michael Scherer reported more on how she and others are now backing away from the idea.
Polls show why they’re doing this. On the surface, the idea sounds as if it would appeal to voters: Significantly cheaper health-care costs. No battling with insurance companies over coverage. No more high deductibles.
Here’s how all Americans and Democrats, respectively, felt about the idea when asked in a Post-ABC News poll in July whether they prefer a universal health-care system to the current one. A majority would opt for Medicare-for-all.
But notice how support declines when people are told that such a program would require getting rid of private insurance. A majority of Democrats still said they support Medicare-for-all if it would mean no private option available, but not a majority of Americans.