In last night’s Democratic debate, candidates tried to out-do each other on health care. It makes sense, considering a recent KFF health tracking poll found that health care is the top issue for Democrat voters (24%), well ahead of climate change (12%), immigration (6%), economy and jobs (5%), education (4%), and gun control (4%). But according to the poll, segments of the party differ on who they trust to solve their number one issue.
Most Democrats ages 18-34 years old (47%) trust Bernie Sanders, while 14% trust Elizabeth Warren and only 12% of young voters trust Joe Biden. Older voters (65 years old and older), however, trust the former vice president. Thirty-three percent of older voters trust Biden, while 18% trust Warren, and only 16% trust Sanders. More Democrats overall trust Warren (26%), while 23% trust Biden, and 22% trust Sanders. But more Democratic-leaning Independents trust Sanders (39%), while 18% trust Biden, and only 6% trust Warren.
Even though the Democratic presidential field embraces Medicare-for-all, general support on the plan varies based on the description. Fifty-four percent of voters favor the plan when they hear it will eliminate private health insurance but allow people to choose their providers, while 43% oppose. When voters learn it will require employers and individuals to pay more in taxes but eliminate premiums and deductibles, support is tied, 48%-48%. And when voters learn Medicare-for-all will increase the taxes they individually pay but decrease overall healthcare costs, more oppose (48%) the plan than support (47%). Republicans will be ready to point out the latter when the eventual Democrat nominee emerges from the race to the far-left.