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Democratic Governor: Medicare for All ‘Makes People Feel Afraid’

Participants hold signs as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at a news conference to introduce the “Medicare for All Act of 2019” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2019. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

Democrats are growing increasingly skittish about Medicare for All, the $30 to $40 trillion proposal that would abolish private insurance and replace it with a health-care system run by the federal government.

“When you say Medicare for All, it’s a risk. It makes people feel afraid,” Democratic governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island tells the New York Times

Tyler Jones, a Democratic strategist, tells the Times that the plan could even put the House majority at risk: “If we have a nominee that supports Medicare for all at the top of the ticket, our majority in the House is in serious jeopardy, not to mention a potential majority in the Senate.”

Fresh polling on Medicare for All has fueled fear among some Democrats that the proposal could sink any nominee in a general election. 

Yesterday, pollsters at Quinnipiac reported: “Medicare for All has grown increasingly unpopular among all American voters, as 36 percent say it is a good idea and 52 percent say it is a bad idea. In a March 26, 2019 poll, 43 percent said good idea, while 45 percent said bad idea. The highest support came in an August 3, 2017 poll when voters said it was a good idea 51 – 38 percent.” Quinnipiac also found that support for Elizabeth Warren has been cut in half since she released her plan to pay for $20 trillion of the $30 to $40 trillion program a few weeks ago. 

The Times reports that a November poll released by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Cook Political Report found “nearly two-thirds of swing voters in Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin rated a Medicare for all plan that would eliminate private insurance as a ‘bad idea.’”

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