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Seriously- Everyone Needs Healthcare No One Loves Their Insurance Company

Polling is incredibly valuable in terms of understanding what the American people believe about a certain issue, and can help guide our politicians towards better representation of their constituents. But, like all data, especially in the social sciences, responses of just what people believe/desire is highly contingent  upon the polling questions and the context of those questions. It is for this reason, that we always include the specific language of the polling questions that individuals are responding to.

Case in point: As we've previously discussed, Medicare for All is a very popular proposal, with some polls suggesting over 70% are in favor of the program. Such overwhelming public support seems to make passing Medicare for All a no-brainer, but critics of the program are quick to point out, that changing the wording of Medicare for All questions to highlight certain attributes, erodes that base of support. In the most negative of question framing, highlighting that people would "lose" their current insurance when transitioning over to Medicare for All, support can drop all the way down into the 40s. Some politicians have convinced themselves that this low level of support means that the American people don't want universal healthcare, but in doing so they have overlooked a huge set of context, namely what do the American people think about the reality of our current "healthcare system." Thankfully, a newly released Emerson poll provides some interesting insight:

Do you support or oppose employers being allowed to change or eliminate an employee's health insurance against the employee's wishes?

Oppose: 70% Support: 11%

Only one in ten people support a key pillar of the current healthcare system: the ability of an employer to change their workers healthcare. While the results are perhaps not surprising, it is rather stunning that presidential candidates like Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg push healthcare proposals that don't address this underlying dynamic, and yet have the temerity to claim that their plans are popular with the people. To put this further in perspective, over twice as many Americans support putting children in cages than allowing employers to switch their healthcare! These deeply myopic and profoundly unrepresentative politicians don't arise in a vacuum, they are the product of extremely powerful special interest groups (in this case the health insurance, pharma and hospital industries) capturing the political apparatus for their own profit, often at the expense of the public. Our politicians are overall either incapable or unwilling to stand up to these powerful forces on their own, and will often carry water for them. If we are to bring democratic representation back to America, it will take a broad and enduring movement of people, demanding change and putting pressure on the powerful. Only through enduring socio-political-economic movements like DSOT can we hope to achieve our goals. Join us every Tuesday, in growing solidarity and power until we take back our democracy from amoral special interests, and greedy politicians: Don't Shop on Tuesdays!

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