Despite Bernie Sanders coming a distant second to Joe Biden in South Carolina, his signature proposal of Medicare For All did well there, winning majority support, making it four in a row. Why it did not translate into votes for him in that state is unclear since Sanders’s landslide win in Nevada was boosted by the popularity of Medicare For All. It will be interesting to see what role it plays in the Super Tuesday contests.
In Nevada, as in both Iowa and New Hampshire, about 6 out every 10 voters in both entrance and exit polls said they supported eliminating private insurance and creating a single-payer system like the one Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren both support. Among Nevadans who supported a single-payer plan, according to entrance polls from Edison Research, 49% said they were backing Sanders — more than three times that of any other candidate. Even as the leaders of the powerful Culinary Union, the state’s largest, opted to publicly oppose Sanders’ Medicare for All plan without endorsing another candidate, he won 34% of caucus-goers from union households, and crushed other candidates among culinary workers specifically.
An awareness of the popularity of Medicare For All is starting to sink in among mainstream journalists like Time magazine contributor Christopher Hale who tweeted “It’s fair to say Democratic leadership fails to understand how much everyday Americans hate their private healthcare coverage”
NBC News entrance polls of Democrats on Medicare for All: 57-38% support in Iowa, 58-37% support in New Hampshire, 62-35% support in Nevada.
Maybe the candidates who staked their primary campaigns on opposing Medicare for All miscalculated.
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) February 22, 2020
For those wondering, here's the wording of our NBC News poll question on Medicare for All: "How do you feel about replacing all private health insurance with a single government plan for everyone?" https://t.co/Sbm3OKuAhO
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) February 23, 2020
Read this heartbreaking Twitter thread by a journalist Michelle DuBarry and you will better understand why Medicare For All is so appealing to many and why our current system is so terrible, even if you think you have ‘good’ insurance. (You have to first click on the blue bird and then on the link that says ‘Show this thread’.)
In 2010, I had good union health insurance. Obamacare was the law of the land. In November that yr my 1yo son was struck by a careless driver in a crosswalk. After two surgeries and a night in intensive care, he died.
— Michelle DuBarry (@DuBarryPie) February 23, 2020
As more and more people who thought they had good insurance come out with their horror stories, you can expect support for Medicare For All to increase.
Elizabeth Warren may be regretting that she began to waffle on Medicare For All after earlier expressing strong support for it. Some analysts are suggesting that her decline in support began with her vacillation on this issue.
We can expect Pete Buttigieg, who has been one of the sharpest critics of the Sanders proposal using Republican and Fox News talking points, to soon announce that he has always supported Medicare For All.