As Democrats debate Medicare for All and their presidential contenders navigate the politically treacherous question of whether to call for the elimination of private insurance, a new poll from Politico and Morning Consult finds that American voters are mostly concerned about maintaining access to their preferred health care providers rather than specific coverage plans.
The survey, conducted from June 29 through July 1, after the first Democratic presidential primary debates, finds that support for Medicare for All falls from 53% to 46% when voters are told that the role of private insurers would be diminished.
But it jumps back up to 55% when voters are told that such a plan would still let them keep their doctors and hospitals.
A related new poll, conducted for CNN and released Monday, found that 56% of respondents said the government should provide a national health insurance program for all Americans. But 32% said that such a program should not completely replace private insurance compared to 21% who said it should. Half of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said that a government health program shouldn’t replace private coverage.
Even so, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose Medicare for All proposal calls for eliminating most private insurance, came out on top when those Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents were asked which presidential contender can best handle health care. Sanders (26%) was followed by former Vice President Joe Biden (18%) and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (16%).
The CNN poll was conducted by SSRS from June 28 through June 30. It involved 1,613 adults and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points or larger.