Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Masses Have No Idea What They are Supporting When They Say They Support 'Medicare-for-All'

David Leonhardt at the New York Times explains:
A couple of weeks ago, one of the country’s most respected health care pollsters — Kaiser Family Foundation — conducted a survey on “Medicare for All.” And the top-line results looked great for advocates of the idea, like Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris.

Some 56 percent of respondents said they favored “a national plan called Medicare for All in which all Americans would get their insurance through a single government plan.” A large majority of Democrats backed the idea. Almost a quarter of Republicans did, too.

The poll’s details, however, were a lot of less positive about Medicare for All. In fact, they showed why single-payer health care may turn out to be one of the few problematic issues for Democrats heading into 2020 — if the party isn’t careful. Harris has highlighted the tensions this week, saying on Monday night that she supported the most aggressive version of Medicare for All before moderating her position, via aides, late yesterday.

When Kaiser pollsters were putting together their survey, they understood that not all Americans thought of “Medicare for All” as meaning the same thing. So the poll asked people whether they believed that they would be allowed to keep their private insurance plan under such a system. Almost 60 percent of respondents said yes. “In reality,” as HuffPost’s Jonathan Cohn wrote, in an analysis of the poll, “the whole point of Medicare for All would be to wipe away current insurance arrangements and replace them with a new public plan.”

Not only that, but when the pollsters described a version of Medicare for All in which private insurance was wiped away, support plummeted. The idea flipped from being popular to unpopular: 37 percent of respondents favored it, and 58 percent opposed it.


  1. Unfortunately, "The Masses" have a tendency to support anything that sounds good and, on the surface, makes their lives better (or so they think).

    They rarely think beyond slogans and promises and almost never actually look into proposed policies.

  2. Problem. Reaction. Solution.

    Create a medical cartel to drive up prices. People cannot afford the medical care or the insurance. Government control of people's medical care.

  3. Medicare For All fits in nicely with the New American Dream: you can get what you want and rise as far as (other people's) hard work and money will take you.