Health care is an issue of utmost importance to many Americans, and polling suggests that, by a considerable margin, voters trust Democrats more than Republicans to handle the issue. But according to this report in the Washington Post, Democratic presidential candidates, by talking so much about “Medicare for all,” aren’t hitting the sweet spot on health care. Instead, they are missing the point.
Based on public opinion research, the Post finds that voters are focused not on providing health insurance coverage to every American, but on paying less for their own health care. Imagine that.
Why are Democratic candidates missing the sweet spot? Probably in large part because they are engaged in a bidding war for support from the Party’s left-wing base.
Celinda Lake, the veteran Democratic strategist, told the Post that the candidates are playing to the values of Democratic primary voters, who tend to lean further left than others in the party. Unlike the party as a whole, primary voters typically want political leaders to promote access to health care, as well as its affordability.
But the Post points to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation that found lowering the amount individuals and families pay for health care to be the topic of greatest interest even to the most liberal slice of Democratic voters. Imagine that.
Because competition is the best way to lower costs, Republicans should have the upper hand when it comes to this issue. Unfortunately, most voters probably don’t see it that way. However, if President Trump focuses on the theme of lowering costs through competition while Democrats keep harping on Medicare for all, the gap between faith in Democrats and faith in Republicans on health care should narrow quite a bit.