The Corner

Health Care

Poll: Only 22 Percent of Democrats Want to Abolish Private Insurance for Medicare for All

Sen. Bernie Sanders speak during the first night of the second 2020 Democratic presidential debate in Detroit, Mich., July 30, 2019. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

The latest national poll of the Democratic presidential primary shows a three-way virtual tie for first place (Warren 20, Sanders 20, Biden 19), with Biden suffering a surprisingly large 13-point drop since Monmouth surveyed voters in mid-June. 

Larry Sabato points out that the poll has a small sample size (only 298 voters were interviewed), which means it has a wider than usual margin of error. And Fox News, CNN, and Morning Consult have all conducted polls in August showing Biden with a double-digit lead. 

We’ll know soon enough whether the Monmouth poll is an outlier or a leading indicator in the Democratic primary, but one very interesting finding in the poll (one that can’t be chalked up to a large margin of error) is the contradictory evidence about the popularity of Medicare for All among Democrats. 

As the New York Times has reported: At “the heart of the ‘Medicare for all’ proposals championed by Senator Bernie Sanders and many Democrats is a revolutionary idea: Abolish private health insurance.” 

But Monmouth reports

On the issue of health care, 58% of party voters say it is very important to them that the Democrats nominate someone who supports “Medicare for All.”  Another 23% say it is somewhat important, 10% say it is not important, and 9% are unsure. However, it is not clear that Medicare for All means the same thing to all voters.  When asked specifically about what type of health insurance system they prefer, 53% of Democratic voters say they want a system that offers an opt in to Medicare while retaining the private insurance market. Just 22% say they want to move to a system where Medicare for All replaces private insurance. Another 7% prefer to keep insurance private for people under 65 but regulate the costs and 11% want to leave the system basically as it is now. 

So 81 percent of Democrats say it is “very” or “somewhat” important that the Democratic nominee support Medicare for All, but 78 percent of Democrats do not support the provision at “the heart of Medicare for All.”  The two candidates most committed to abolishing private insurance, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth “I’m with Bernie” Warren, are tied for first place in the poll. And the candidate who has tried to give Democrats exactly what they say they want — something called “Medicare for All” that doesn’t abolish private insurance — has suffered in the Democratic primary precisely because of her maneuverings on the issue.

Most Popular

Film & TV

The Manly Appeal of Ford v Ferrari

There used to be a lot of overlap between what we think of as a Hollywood studio picture (designed to earn money) and an awards movie (designed to fill the trophy case, usually with an accompanying loss of money). Ford v Ferrari is a glorious throwback to the era when big stars did quality movies about actual ... Read More
Politics & Policy

ABC Chief Political Analyst: GOP Rep. Stefanik a ‘Perfect Example’ of the Failures of Electing Someone ‘Because They Are a Woman’

Matthew Dowd, chief political analyst for ABC News, suggested that Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) was elected due to her gender after taking issue with Stefanik's line of questioning during the first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday. “Elise Stefanik is a perfect example of why just electing ... Read More
White House

Trump vs. the ‘Policy Community’

When it comes to Russia, I am with what Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman calls the American “policy community.” Vindman, of course, is one of the House Democrats’ star impeachment witnesses. His haughtiness in proclaiming the policy community and his membership in it grates, throughout his 340-page ... Read More
Law & the Courts

DACA’s Day in Court

When President Obama unilaterally changed immigration policy after repeatedly and correctly insisting that he lacked the constitutional power to do it, he said that congressional inaction had forced his hand. In the case of his first major unilateral move — “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” which ... Read More
White House

Impeachment and the Broken Truce

The contradiction at the center of American politics in Anno Domini 2019 is this: The ruling class does not rule. The impeachment dog-and-pony show in Washington this week is not about how Donald Trump has comported himself as president (grotesquely) any more than early convulsions were about refreshed ... Read More

A Preposterous Review

A   Georgetown University professor named Charles King has reviewed my new book The Case for Nationalism for Foreign Affairs, and his review is a train wreck. It is worth dwelling on, not only because the review contains most of the lines of attack against my book, but because it is extraordinarily shoddy and ... Read More