"Medicare for All": New survey results hit the crux of the problem right on the head.

2019 OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS (most states)

Time: D H M S

With the 2019 Open Enrollment Period starts in less than 24 hours, it probably isn't the best timing for this, but with the elections also coming up in just six days, perhaps it is.

Axios just published a new national survey via SurveyMonkey which asks two simple but important questions:

  • Generally speaking, when you hear candidates talking about “Medicare for All,” what do you think they are proposing?
    • A single, government-run health insurance program to cover all Americans
    • An optional government-run program that would compete with private insurance
    • Neither of these
  • And which of the following options for health care would you favor most?
    • A single, government-run health insurance program to cover all Americans
    • An optional government-run program that would compete with private insurance
    • Neither of these

The results are pretty telling:

BOOM. There you have it: 1/3 of the country wants Single Payer, 1/3 of the country wants a Public Option, and 1/3 of the country doesn't want either.

The messaging waters are muddied even further by the other question: Both candidates and the public are all over the map when it comes to what they think "Medicare for All" actually means.

Some candidates of the Bernie Sanders/DSA variety mean 100% universal, 100% mandatory Single Payer. Other candidates mean making Medicare (or Medicaid in some cases) optional for anyone who wants to buy into it. Some would prefer the former but would be perfectly happy with the latter. The same is true with the public.

But here's the thing: A public option can potentially BECOME single payer down the road.

Which is one of many reasons why something along the lines of the Center for American Progress' "Medicare Extra" proposal makes a lot more sense to push in the near future than insisting on universal Single Payer or Bust.

Anyway, I'll leave it at that for now.