Medicare for All support surges to 9-month high in new poll after coronavirus exposes horrors of private insurance

‘How can it be that we spend 18% of our GDP on healthcare but still lack the beds, masks, ventilators, gowns, gloves, and test kits we need to adequately respond to this crisis?’ asked Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Support for Medicare for All among U.S. voters has reached a nine-month high in a Morning Consult/Politico tracking poll as the deadly and ongoing coronavirus pandemic lays bare the horrors and systemic inefficiencies of America’s profit-driven healthcare system.

The survey (pdf), released Wednesday, found that 55 percent of U.S. voters support Medicare for All, a nine-point jump since February. While support for Medicare for All is highest among Democratic voters at 75%, a majority of Independents—52%—also support the policy, along with 31% of Republicans.

Morning Consult‘s Yusra Murad wrote that the poll, conducted between March 27-29, “suggests progressive lawmakers may have an opportunity to sway key demographics—support for Medicare for All grew among people in the $50,000-$100,000 income bracket, voters between 45 and 54 years old, and black voters by roughly 10 points each.”

“With the discussion of enacting a universal healthcare system in the United States intensifying, 43 percent of voters say they are more likely to support reforms to grant all Americans health insurance from the government because of the coronavirus outbreak,” Murad noted. “Notably, that support does not include the frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary election—former Vice President Joe Biden.”

As Common Dreams reported, Biden on Monday doubled down on his opposition to Medicare for All, telling MSNBC that single-payer healthcare would “not solve” the coronavirus crisis.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Biden’s only remaining opponent in the Democratic presidential primary race, has repeatedly argued in recent weeks—alongside many other experts and advocates—that the coronavirus outbreak and the resulting economic meltdown bolsters the case for Medicare for All, the Vermont senator’s signature policy proposal.

Sanders’ Medicare for All plan would provide everyone in the U.S. with comprehensive healthcare for free at the point of service and virtually eliminate the private insurance system which has left 80 million Americans uninsured or underinsured—a number that is rising rapidly as millions lose their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“How can it be that we spend 18% of our [gross domestic product] on healthcare—more than any other major country on Earth—but still lack the beds, masks, ventilators, gowns, gloves, and test kits we need to adequately respond to this crisis?” Sanders asked in a tweet on Wednesday.

“We must transform our dysfunctional healthcare system,” said Sanders.

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Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams. Follow him on Twitter: @johnsonjakep.

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