Jan 07, 2019
That was the question posed by healthcare justice advocates to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi--and potential Democratic presidential candidates as well--after another new poll showed overwhelming support for Medicare for All by Democratic Party voters.
"They may have the money. But we have the people."
--Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)According to the Politico/Harvard poll (pdf), released Monday, a full 84 percent of Democrats says "providing health insurance coverage for everyone through a taxpayer-funded national plan like MedicareForAll" should "be an extremely important priority" for the party. Politicoreports:
While support for a national, taxpayer-funded plan is concentrated on the Democratic side, 60 percent of Republican respondents backed allowing Americans under 65 to buy into Medicare (71 percent of respondents overall supported the idea, and 83 percent of Democrats).
The poll involved a series of questions that made distinctions between a Medicare for All system that covered everyone, a possible "buy-in" option for people under 65, and a more vague "public option" that could be purchased. "The poll showed most people weren't aware of a Medicare buy-in or public option," Politico noted, "but were broadly supportive of the ideas when informed about them."
\u201cA new Harvard/Politico poll shows that 84 percent -- yes, 84 percent! -- of Democrats believe "providing health insurance coverage for everyone through a taxpayer-funded national plan like #MedicareForAll" should "be an extremely important priority." https://t.co/MTi5I21Xlw\u201d— Medicare for All (@Medicare for All) 1546964764
While numerous polls over the last two years have shown increasingly high levels for a single-payer approach or Medicare For All solution to the nation's healthcare crisis, many Democratic Party leaders have clung to their reluctance of the idea.
Last week, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, the former governor of Virginia who says he is contemplating a run for president, warned the party away from bold solutions like Medicare for All, saying voters are not ready for policies that he characterized, without evidence, of being "unrealistic."
\u201cImagine seeing poll after poll showing that 84% of Democrats support a #SinglePayer #MedicareForAll system and then thinking, well, "I should campaign on improving the ACA!"\u201d— Medicare for All (@Medicare for All) 1546965886
But those pushing for Medicare for All say the political winds are at their back as the polling continues to suggest the American people are ready to join the rest of the world's developed nations by creating a healthcare system that includes everybody and leaves nobody out.
While leaders like Pelosi and Schumer have yet to embrace Medicare for All fully, there has been movement. As the Democrats took control of the House last week, and the Speaker's gavel was returned to Pelosi, it was announced that major committees would hold hearings on Medicare For All this year, a development advocates called a "giant step." Meanwhile, progressive organizing continues to swell with National Nurses United, the nation's largest nurses union, holding "barnstorming" events nationwide next month to demand Medicare for All and the Democratic Socialists of America continuing their door-to-door and grassroots campaigning.
\u201cHundreds of activists will host #MedicareForAll barnstorms in early February, and TODAY is the last day to sign up host one in your community.\n\nHelp us build a grassroots movement strong enough to win guaranteed healthcare for all! \n\nSign up: https://t.co/fUNSlyaez1 #SinglePayer\u201d— NationalNursesUnited (@NationalNursesUnited) 1546968599
As Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) said on Tuesday morning: "The fight for Medicare for all will be opposed by all of the special interests--drug companies, insurance companies, Wall Street--who make billions from our dysfunctional health care system. They may have the money. But we have the people."
\u201cThe fight for Medicare for all will be opposed by all of the special interests\u2014drug companies, insurance companies, Wall Street\u2014who make billions from our dysfunctional health care system.\n\nThey may have the money. But we have the people.\nhttps://t.co/DWNpsmQt9p\u201d— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders) 1546963939
The Politico/Harvard poll surveyed 1,013 adults between Dec. 11-16. The margin of error is between plus or minus 3.7 and 5.2 percentage points.
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.