As Dems Prepare to Debate in Michigan, Poll Finds Majority in Key Swing State Oppose 'Medicare for All'

Joe Biden holds his ground, but can he withstand attacks from the left on healthcare?

July 26, 2019

As Democratic presidential candidates prepare for the second round of debates in Detroit next week, the party is hoping the candidate who ends up winning the nomination in 2020 will fare better in Michigan than Hillary Clinton, who managed to lose to reliably blue state to Donald Trump by 10,704 votes, thanks in no small part to bumbling incompetence.

A recent poll, however, suggests that Michigan voters are not on board with the healthcare proposals championed by many of the leading candidates in the field. A survey of likely Michigan voters published this week found that a majority opposes a "Medicare for All" policy that would eliminate private health insurance and replace it with a government-run, single-payer system.

According to the poll, 52 percent of likely voters in Michigan oppose Medicare for All, with nearly 40 percent saying they "strongly oppose" the idea. Just 37 percent of likely voters said they support it.

The most vocal proponent of a single-payer, "Medicare for All" system is Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), who is currently in second place among primary candidates, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), who are closing in on Sanders in the polls, have both expressed support for Medicare for All, albeit with varying degrees of vagueness and incoherence.

Voters skepticism is presumably why a number of Democratic governors across the country, and especially in the Midwest, have been reluctant to embrace Medicare for All amid concerns that the party is veering too far to the left on a host of issues.

Healthcare promises to feature prominently at next week's debate in Detroit, where frontrunner Joe Biden will almost certainly be targeted by rivals for his reluctance to support Medicare for All. Biden has expressed increasingly vocal opposition to proposals that would effectively scrap Obamacare and eliminate the private insurance market. He's even running ads implicitly attacking rival Democrats who disagree with him on healthcare.