Poll: Big Majorities Say Dem Proposals Like Medicare for All Mean Middle-Class Tax Hikes

August 16, 2019 Updated: August 18, 2019

WASHINGTON—Most Americans responding to a new survey say they expect that taxes on middle-class families, as well as their own personal levies, will be increased to pay for Democratic proposals such as Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and a Universal Basic Income if they become law.

“More specifically, 74 percent of respondents say middle-class taxes are likely to go up as a result of Medicare for All, 61 percent say the same for the Green New Deal and 64 percent believe the same for Universal Basic Income,” the Job Creators Network Foundation (JCNF) said in a statement on the results of its latest Weekly Pulse Survey, which was made public Aug. 15.

“Similarly, 69 percent, 57 percent, and 62 percent, respectively, believe their personal taxes will increase as a result of those policies,” the statement said.

“Additionally, supporters of Medicare for All often argue that the financial savings on medical expenses induced by the government program will surpass individual monetary losses from tax increases. However, 62 percent of Americans say that’s unlikely to happen.”

“Proposed government programs like Medicare for All, the Green New Deal and Universal Basic Income will cost trillions of dollars and that money doesn’t grow on trees. It’s clear a majority of Americans know this to be true; if only current presidential candidates did as well,” Elaine Parker, JCNF’s president, was quoted as saying.

The survey of 1,072 registered voters was conducted for the JCNF by Scott Rasmussen on Aug. 12–13, with a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

In a June New York Times survey of Democratic presidential candidates, to which 19 of the 23 responded, 10 favored some version of Medicare for All, which would make the federal government the main source of health insurance for all Americans. Some of the Democrats, however, say they want to keep private insurance on a limited basis.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has said she believes the country should “move on” and drop all private health insurance in the process of adopting the Medicare for All program, but some of her rivals, most notably former Vice President Joe Biden, haven’t yet gone that far. Harris has also somewhat walked back her original declaration.

Biden was by far the top choice of most Democrats until this week, when a new poll from YouGov for The Economist found him in a virtual dead heat with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

Biden wants to expand the Obamacare program along the lines of Medicare for All, but says he would keep private insurance in some form.

Warren supports ending all private health insurance, as does Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the self-described “Democratic Socialist” who gave former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton an unexpectedly tough time of it in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.

The Green New Deal—a package of radical environmental proposals announced earlier this year by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)—has also attracted support among the Democratic aspirants, with six co-sponsoring it and three others expressing support, according to Axios in May.

But the proposal became even more controversial when Ocasio-Cortez’s then-chief of staff was quoted by The Washington Post July 10 saying, “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all. Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

In other results from the survey, 49 percent of the respondents said they believe health care costs would increase under a Medicare for All program that eliminates private insurance. Only 21 percent of the respondents said costs would go down.

Fifty-six percent of respondents rated the economy as either “excellent” or “good,” the highest such percentage for the question in 10 months. Forty-two percent rated the economy either “fair” or “poor.”

A majority (51 percent) said their personal finances are either “excellent” or “good,” while 48 percent described their economic situation as either “fair” or “poor.”

“Americans continue to be confident in the economy,” Rasmussen said in the statement. “The number of Americans who believe that the economy is strong has hit the highest level since October 2018 and a majority of respondents say their personal finances are solid.”