Democrats Favor Building On ACA Over 'Medicare For All'


Most Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents would rather expand the Affordable Care Act rather than replace it having a “Medicare for All” plan, based on a brand new tracking poll in the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The poll, released Tuesday, also examines opinions on the generic government-run “public option” health plan that would be available to all Americans and contend with private insurance. About two-thirds of the public said they support a public option, though a lot more than 6 in 10 Republicans oppose it. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.)

But the findings noted those opinions are not even close to set in stone. When told a public option is needed drive down prices by increasing competition in the insurance market, support rose up to 75%. When told it would result in too much government involvement in healthcare, though, support fell to around 40%.

KFF's findings can provide pause to Democratic presidential candidates preparing for the 2nd round of primary debates, scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday evenings on CNN.

Asked to choose between building around the ACA and replacing it having a national Medicare for All plan, 55% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said they would expand the present law. In comparison, 39% said they would prefer replacing what the law states with Medicare for All.

Respondents also voiced strong support for employer-based insurance, a reality likely to complicate efforts to replace the present system. A lot more than three-quarters have a favorable opinion of employer-based insurance, by having an overwhelming majority of those covered by such plans rating their coverage as “good” or “excellent.”

Nearly all respondents included in Medicare rated their coverage as “good” or “excellent.”

Primary season is when most candidates trot the proposals that attract their party's more ideologically driven voters, who're kicking the tires on a slate of potential nominees. Support for Medicare for All has turned into a litmus test for a lot of progressive voters as they contemplate their a lot more than two dozen candidates.

But as the primary season wanes, the remaining candidates traditionally shift toward more incremental proposals, looking to attract the moderate voters they might need to win the presidency.

The new KFF poll shows the public's support for the idea of Medicare for those has dipped to about 51%, from 56% in April.

In the past few years, Medicare for All saw the height of their favorability in March 2021, when about 59% of the public said they favored a method by which all Americans would obtain insurance in one government plan.

While the most recent numbers show support shifting among both Republicans and Democrats, the share of Democrats who said they “strongly favor” a Medicare for All plan has dropped to 42%, from 54% in April.

Medicare for All's slip in popularity has come as Democratic presidential candidates have shared the details of their plans and Republicans have tested out campaign messages about creeping “socialism” within the healthcare system, suggesting a constant battle toward making this type of plan a reality.

About 83% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said it is “very important” for that candidates to discuss healthcare during this week's debates, with half saying they'd prefer the candidates focus on the differences among themselves instead of with Trump.

The poll also found strong support for many from the ACA's key provisions, including among Republicans, like a challenge led by GOP state officials and endorsed through the Trump administration winds with the federal court system.

For example, more than 7 in 10 respondents said hello is “very important” to prevent insurers from denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions, while 64% said it is “very important” to prevent them from charging sick people higher premiums than they charge healthy people.

Conducted July 18-23, the KFF poll surveyed 1,196 adults by landline and cellphone, in English and Spanish. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.