A poll conducted by two establishment institutions — Politico and Harvard University — has found overwhelming support for a decidedly anti-establishment policy: Medicare for All.
Politico put the results of the poll in its Monday newsletter, finding that 68 percent of respondents were in favor of a national healthcare plan, similar to what Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) have proposed in their respective chambers.
84 percent of Democrats, 39 percent of Republicans, and 70 percent of independents surveyed all agreed that “providing health insurance coverage for everyone through a taxpayer-funded national plan, like Medicare for All” should be considered “an extremely important priority” in the 116th Congress.
The poll from Politico and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health also found broad support for other progressive healthcare policies, like lowering prescription drug prices (92 percent total support), requiring private insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions (91 percent), keeping current Medicare benefits (88 percent), lowering the overall cost of healthcare (88 percent), and increasing federal spending on research to find cures for diseases, like cancer and AIDS (85 percent).
Even among Republicans surveyed in the poll — whose federal candidates have run on curbing government intervention to make healthcare more affordable — 89 percent supported lowering drug prices, 85 percent supported lowering healthcare costs, 82 percent supported pre-existing condition coverage and increasing spending on veterans’ healthcare, and 78 percent wanted to make sure current Medicare benefits weren’t pared back.
The results of this poll fall in line with a poll conducted by Reuters in August, which found that 70 percent of Americans — including 52 percent of Republicans — supported Medicare for All. The policy will likely be hotly debated in the new Democratic-controlled House between establishment Democrats and insurgent new members of Congress who are fighting for the policy to become law.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) has already announced she will hold Medicare for All hearings in at least two different committees. Rep. Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts) chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, which makes decisions on taxation. Neal has long since been a favorite of the private health insurance industry, meaning Medicare for All will likely face an uphill battle in his committee.
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.