A new report just thoroughly debunked the myth that Medicare for All is politically unpopular. More than two-thirds of Americans actually support the policy.
In a recent article about the burgeoning leftist movement within the Democratic Party, Reuters surveyed approximately 3,000 American adults between June and July to see how many supported various progressive policy goals. Reuters asked respondents whether or not they supported Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vermont) proposal to expand Medicare to all Americans. The survey also asked respondents whether or not they identified as Democrats or Republicans.
84 percent of Democrats supported the idea. And remarkably, despite the slew of opposition from conservatives and Republican leaders, even 51 percent Republicans supported the policy. Only 10.7 percent of respondents were undecided.
The survey also gauged Americans’ views of other progressive policy platforms that Sen. Sanders has proposed, like making public universities tuition-free and abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Reuters poll asked a slightly larger sample of 5,339 American adults whether or not they would support making public college free for students who come from middle-class and impoverished households (Sanders’ bill specifies that college would be free for students from households making less than $125,000/year), which would be funded by a tax on speculative Wall Street trading.
Reuters found that roughy 79 percent of Democrats were in favor of free public college, and 41 percent of Republicans supported it. 7.3 percent of Democrats were undecided on the policy, along with 9.1 percent of Republicans. When the results were combined, more than 60 percent of respondents supported tuition-free public universities, and only 28.7 percent were opposed.
Just this year, Sen. Sanders came out in favor of abolishing ICE — a proposal that has also been endorsed by rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. ICE has come under fire during the Trump administration for various abuses, including sexual molestation of child detainees. ICE has also been criticized for aggressively pursuing undocumented immigrants regardless of their circumstances, including a father of three dropping his children off at school and an Army veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan.
However, there isn’t yet majority support for abolishing ICE. The Reuters survey of 7,737 American adults found that only 32 percent support the policy, with 53 percent opposed. 43.9 percent of Democrats and 20 percent of Republicans are in favoring of abolishing ICE, but 44 percent of Democrats and 70 percent of Republicans want to keep the agency.
The results of the poll, when taken into a larger context, show how much progress the left wing of the Democratic Party has made in convincing not just their fellow Democrats, but their fellow Americans to get behind their proposed reforms. This poll will also make it increasingly more difficult for centrist Democrats opposed to Medicare for All, like House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland), to argue that their lack of support is political, rather than ideological.
Scott Alden is a freelance contributor covering national politics, education, and environmental issues. He is a proud Toledo University graduate, and lives in the suburbs of Detroit.