September 21, 2017

POLL: 2018 & 2020 Democrats Will Pay a Price for Single Payer Folly

POLL: 2018 & 2020 Democrats Will Pay a Price for Single Payer Folly

Despite the recent sprint to the left by 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, Bernie Sanders remains atop the throne of progressivism. And he knows it. Why else, after all, would he champion a single payer “Medicare for All” bill that has no chance of passing the Senate? He’s setting up a litmus test for a primary that’s three years away, and Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have all fallen into the trap.

This has made life uncomfortable for the Senators up for reelection in 2018 in the states President Trump won last year. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) ran for the hills as Bernie unveiled his socialist fantasy. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) said he’d be open to taking “solid look” at a single payer plan, but ultimately voted against Bernie’s bill. In a confusing three-act play, Senator McCaskill said she was open to the idea of single payer, then voted “present” on single-payer legislation while some her colleagues voted outright “no,” only to turn around and come out against Bernie’s bill. The only vulnerable to jump in with both feet was Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), becoming a co-sponsor. Keeping up so far?

The hesitation is palpable, and according to a new NBC/WSJ poll, their fears are well-founded:

The public is divided over a single-payer health care system, with 47 percent favoring such an approach and 46 percent opposing it.

But when supporters are told that all health care costs would be covered under a single-payer system — but that it would eliminate employer plans and that there would be only one government plan — the numbers move to 36 percent favor, 55 percent oppose.

Much of the anger that swept the country in 2016 was rooted in Obamacare’s failures. The 2020 Democratic contenders may find themselves lauded in liberal enclaves like New York and San Francisco, but they will be in for a rude awakening once they face the rest of the country.