The Corner

Health Care

Adults Like ‘Medicare for All,’ as Long as They Know Nothing about It

Sen. Bernie Sanders introduces the “Medicare for All Act of 2017” on Capitol Hill, September 13, 2017. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

Democrats are really whistling past the graveyard in their belief that Medicare for All is a political winner and will end up being a key component of their argument to replace President Trump.

The latest survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation asked adults about Medicare for All and found 51 percent support it, 46 percent oppose it. At first glance, that looks like a just-big-enough majority to be a winner in November 2020, although it’s worth noting this sample is of adults, not registered voters or likely voters.

But the same survey also revealed that a majority of Americans are still seriously misinformed about how Medicare for All would work. 55 percent of respondents believed that people who get insurance through their jobs would keep those plans, and the same percentage believed that people who bought their own insurance would keep those plans. A separate question found that 40 percent said they thought private insurance would still be the primary way that Americans would get coverage under Medicare for All. 54 percent said that individuals and employers would continue to pay health insurance premiums.

Under the bill introduced by Bernie Sanders, and co-sponsored by Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren, it is illegal for “a private health insurer to sell health insurance coverage that duplicates the benefits provided under this act” or “an employer to provide benefits for an employee, former employee, or the dependents of an employee or former employee that duplicate the benefits provided under this act.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation pollster asked respondents if they would favor or oppose Medicare for All if they heard that it would eliminate private health insurance companies, and 58 percent said they would oppose it. Separately, 60 percent said they would oppose it if it would require Americans to pay more in taxes (hint, a program that increases federal spending by $34 trillion over ten years would indeed require higher taxes), and 70 percent said they would oppose it if they heard it would lead to delays in patients getting some medical tests and treatments. (If everyone in America who currently cannot afford insurance or treatment enters the existing health care system at once, delays in tests and treatment are inevitable.)

What the survey shows is that a slim majority of Americans like the words “Medicare,” “for,” and “all” in that order, and have some vague idea that it means the parts of the health care system that they like will stay in place and that the parts they don’t like will go away. Not only have they not thought about the trade-offs involved, they do not understand the basics of how it would work.

Most Popular

U.S.

A Data Double Take: Police Shootings

In a recent article, social scientist Patrick Ball revisited his and Kristian Lum’s 2015 study, which made a compelling argument for the underreporting of lethal police shootings by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Lum and Ball’s study may be old, but it bears revisiting amid debates over the American ... Read More
U.S.

A Data Double Take: Police Shootings

In a recent article, social scientist Patrick Ball revisited his and Kristian Lum’s 2015 study, which made a compelling argument for the underreporting of lethal police shootings by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Lum and Ball’s study may be old, but it bears revisiting amid debates over the American ... Read More
Culture

How Long Will Margaret Sanger Last?

Much of the radical Left is at present consumed by a feverish desire to erase from U.S. history anyone whom they’ve deemed in some way insufficiently loyal to the progressive creed of 2020. The statue-toppling brigades have exercised little discretion in determining which of our leaders are no longer fit for ... Read More
Culture

How Long Will Margaret Sanger Last?

Much of the radical Left is at present consumed by a feverish desire to erase from U.S. history anyone whom they’ve deemed in some way insufficiently loyal to the progressive creed of 2020. The statue-toppling brigades have exercised little discretion in determining which of our leaders are no longer fit for ... Read More
Education

Meritocracy without Meeting

Harvard University announced that it was canceling in-person classes for the entire upcoming academic year because of COVID-19. Students can attend digital Harvard for the exact same price. Some of my fellow conservatives are wondering if the stresses of pandemic conditions will finally pop an over-inflated ... Read More
Education

Meritocracy without Meeting

Harvard University announced that it was canceling in-person classes for the entire upcoming academic year because of COVID-19. Students can attend digital Harvard for the exact same price. Some of my fellow conservatives are wondering if the stresses of pandemic conditions will finally pop an over-inflated ... Read More

Year Zero

Every cultural revolution starts at year zero, whether explicitly or implicitly. The French Revolution recalibrated the calendar to begin anew, and the genocidal Pol Pot declared his own Cambodian revolutionary ascension as the beginning of time. Somewhere after May 25, 2020, the death of George Floyd, while ... Read More

Year Zero

Every cultural revolution starts at year zero, whether explicitly or implicitly. The French Revolution recalibrated the calendar to begin anew, and the genocidal Pol Pot declared his own Cambodian revolutionary ascension as the beginning of time. Somewhere after May 25, 2020, the death of George Floyd, while ... Read More
Education

Destroy the ‘Public’ Education System

‘Public” schools have been a catastrophe for the United States. This certainly isn’t an original assertion, but as we watch thousands of authoritarian brats tearing down the legacies of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, it’s more apparent than ever. State-run schools have undercut two fundamental ... Read More
Education

Destroy the ‘Public’ Education System

‘Public” schools have been a catastrophe for the United States. This certainly isn’t an original assertion, but as we watch thousands of authoritarian brats tearing down the legacies of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, it’s more apparent than ever. State-run schools have undercut two fundamental ... Read More