Poll: Iowa Democrats Hate Obamacare

They're not too wild about Medicare for All, either

• August 9, 2019 12:25 pm


The 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls are flocking to the Iowa State Fair in an effort to wow voters with their fearless command of fried delicacies. The elderly ones, such as former Vice President Joe Biden, have demonstrated an elevated proclivity for gaffe-making in front of the corn enthusiasts in attendance.

As many have noted, most of the Democrats vying for the 2020 nomination haven't exactly been eager to embrace the legacy of former President Barack Obama, especially when it comes to health care. Many have criticized the status quo while promoting ambitious health care reform plans—an implicit attack on the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. A recent poll of Iowa Democrats suggests that voters are similarly unimpressed with Obama's signature achievement.

According to a poll published this week by Monmouth University, just 4 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa want to keep the current health-care system as is. (Note: Iowa is among the states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare.) That's hardly a ringing endorsement of the reforms Obama and Congressional Democrats fought so hard, and expended so much political capital, to enact in 2009.

Despite their opposition to today's health care system, the poll also indicates that Iowa Democrats aren't exactly sold on Medicare for All, the trendy new idea being touted by socialist-leaning candidates such as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.). Only 21 percent of likely caucus attendees said they preferred a Medicare for All system, which would effectively eliminate the private health-insurance market. A majority, 56 percent, said they would prefer a public option that would preserve private health insurance for those who want it.

Biden, who has criticized opponents who support Medicare for All by accusing them of wanting to kick people of their private insurance plans and raise taxes on the middle class, continues to lead the Democratic field in Iowa at 28 percent, according to the poll. Warren is in second place at 19 percent, with Bernie Sanders close behind at 16 percent. Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), whose position on health care reform is somewhat indecipherable, is in fourth place at 11 percent.