During 2020 hopeful Bernie Sander’s Fox News town hall, anchor Bret Baier decided to poll the audience to see who supports the left-wing Vermont senator’s Medicare-for-all proposal. Things didn’t quite go to plan.
“I want to ask the audience a question, if you could raise your hands here, a show of hands for how many people get their insurance from work? Private insurance,” Baier asks the crowd.
Bernie puts down his mug to raise his hand along with a substantial proportion of the audience.
“OK, now of those, how many are willing to transition to what the senator says: a government-run system,” Baier continues.
One imagines that Baier was banking the answer would be: not many. After all, how many Americans could support a democratic socialist’s plans for so-called socialised medicine? Who would trust the government to run healthcare better than a private firm can?
But Baier has hardly finished his sentence when hands start shooting up and the crowd starts whooping.
Public support is building around the idea of government-run healthcare: a March poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 56 per cent of voters support a single payer system. (Support for it tends to drop once you start asking people about the details, such as whether they support the abolition of private insurance).
While almost a dozen Democratic 2020 candidates have lent their support to some version of Medicare-for-all, Republicans continue to obsess over how to reverse Obamacare. One suspects that, like Baier, they are having trouble reading the room.
You can watch the moment here:
— jordan (@JordanUhl) April 15, 2019