Health & Spirit

Senate Democrats skeptical of Warren's 'Medicare for All' push

Mary Ellen McIntire, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Health & Fitness

An October poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that support for Medicare for All has narrowed in recent months, while support surged for a public option that would let people buy into a government health plan that would compete with private insurance plans.

Democrats have maintained an advantage over Republicans on health care issues, which remain a top issue for voters, according to a poll released Wednesday by Protect Our Care, a group that supports the 2010 law. The debate on Medicare for All hasn't changed that dynamic, said Geoff Garin, president of Hart Research, who conducted the poll.

"There's no evidence that as of today it's done anything that's harmful and the Democratic advantage is still as great as it was on the eve of the 2018 election," said Garin.

A poll set to be released next week by the Progressive Change Institute, the liberal consumer advocacy group Public Citizen and Business for Medicare for All will show that support for Medicare for All starts high. The poll, conducted by the consulting firm GBAO Strategies, found that 66% of voters support the policy and 34% oppose it.

When people are informed about negative attacks on the policy, support remains high, with 58% supportive and 42% opposed, according to data shared with CQ Roll Call.

Just months away from the first votes being cast in the presidential primary, Medicare for All is one of the starkest differences between the primary candidates.


But several Democratic senators this week said the candidate should focus more on their differences with President Donald Trump, taking cues from party strategists who are eager for candidates to do so.

Some candidates have sought to redirect the conversation to those differences during the primary debates, but the top-tier candidates have sparred over Medicare for All, keeping the health care discussion squarely focused on their differences.

"The good news is all Dems want to expand health care and all Republicans want to take it away," said Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine. "So depending on how many Dems we have, we will all be looking to expand and lower costs."'

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, a progressive who has recently warned against having a presidential nominee who supports Medicare for All, said Democratic presidential candidates should play up those differences instead of debating different ways to reach universal coverage. He referenced a lawsuit, Texas v. Azar, which the Trump administration has backed to overturn the 2010 health care law.


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