Down-Ticket Dems Fear Health Voter Backlash

Down-ticket Democrats fret that presidential candidates’ progressive health ideas will haunt their own races | 

Oct 31, 2019 |

Kaiser Health News – Health care was a winning issue in the 2018 midterms, helping the Democrats re-take the House.

But now Democratic candidates fighting for competitive seats worry that, should one of the supporters of Medicare for All be the presidential candidate, they’ll be painted with the same brush as the person at the top of the ticket.

Meanwhile, the issue of funding such a single-payer plan continues to dominate the conversation on the election trail.

The Wall Street Journal: Vulnerable House Democrats Wary Of Campaigning For Medicare For All In 2020 Race

Some Democratic lawmakers key to holding the House majority worry that the health-care pledges made by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders could hurt their re-election chances.

Of the 17 candidates in the Democratic primary race, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren have offered the clearest support for a single-payer health-care system, which would largely end private health insurance.

Both candidates are consistently in the top three spots in national polls, along with former vice president Joe Biden, who supports giving people the option of buying into a government-run insurance program. (Andrews and Collins, 10/31)

CNN: Elizabeth Warren: ‘I’m Glad To Talk To Bernie’ About Medicare For All

Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Wednesday that she will “of course” consult with Sen. Bernie Sanders about her soon-to-be-released plan on how to pay for “Medicare for All,” but that she has not yet discussed those details with him. “I’m glad to talk to Bernie about this,” Warren told reporters after a campaign rally in Durham, New Hampshire. (Krieg and Lee, 10/30)

The New York Times: Why ‘Medicare For All’ Could Both Raise Taxes And Lower Costs

[These charts] compare two leading sets of health care proposals advocated by Democrats running for president. The first, a “public option” plan, is similar to proposals from Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and other candidates.

It would allow most Americans to buy insurance from the government and make other changes that would enable fewer people to go without coverage, but it would preserve much of the existing health insurance system. The second, a “Medicare for all” plan introduced by Bernie Sanders and endorsed by Elizabeth Warren, would replace most Americans’ current health insurance with a generous government-run plan that covers more benefits. (Sanger-Katz, 10/31)

Des Moines Register: Joe Biden Calls His Health Care Plan ‘Medicare For All Who Want It,’ Using Pete Buttigieg’s Term

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday referred to his health care plan as “Medicare for All Who Want It,” employing the phrase used by Pete Buttigieg, one of his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination. Biden used the phrase while answering a question from voter Susan Reighard about high health care costs at a town hall in eastern Iowa. (Gruber-Miller, 10/30)

The Hill: Biden Aide: ‘Alarming’ That Sanders Won’t Release Details Of Paying For ‘Medicare For All’

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is attacking Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for saying he does not need to release details on how to pay for “Medicare for All” right away, part of an escalating battle over the issue in the Democratic presidential primary. “It’s alarming that Senator Sanders, who has been up-front for years that Medicare for All would require middle class tax hikes, won’t tell voters ‘right now’ how much more they will pay in taxes because of his plan,” Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said in a statement. “If not now, then when?” (Sullivan, 10/30)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.