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Medicare for All support surges to 9-month high in new poll after coronavirus exposes horrors of private insurance

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Members of National Nurses United union members wave Medicare for All signs during a rally in front of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America in Washington, D.C. on Monday, April 29, 2019. (Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“How can it be that we spend 18% of our GDP on healthcare but still lack the beds, masks, ventilators, gowns, gloves, and test kits we need to adequately respond to this crisis?” asked Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Support for Medicare for All among U.S. voters has reached a nine-month high in a Morning Consult/Politico tracking poll as the deadly and ongoing coronavirus pandemic lays bare the horrors and systemic inefficiencies of America’s profit-driven healthcare system.

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The survey (pdf), released Wednesday, found that 55 percent of U.S. voters support Medicare for All, a nine-point jump since February. While support for Medicare for All is highest among Democratic voters at 75%, a majority of Independents—52%—also support the policy, along with 31% of Republicans.

“We must transform our dysfunctional healthcare system.”
—Sen. Bernie Sanders

Morning Consult‘s Yusra Murad wrote that the poll, conducted between March 27-29, “suggests progressive lawmakers may have an opportunity to sway key demographics—support for Medicare for All grew among people in the $50,000-$100,000 income bracket, voters between 45 and 54 years old, and black voters by roughly 10 points each.”

“With the discussion of enacting a universal healthcare system in the United States intensifying, 43 percent of voters say they are more likely to support reforms to grant all Americans health insurance from the government because of the coronavirus outbreak,” Murad noted. “Notably, that support does not include the frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary election—former Vice President Joe Biden.”

As Common Dreams reported, Biden on Monday doubled down on his opposition to Medicare for All, telling MSNBC that single-payer healthcare would “not solve” the coronavirus crisis.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Biden’s only remaining opponent in the Democratic presidential primary race, has repeatedly argued in recent weeks—alongside many other experts and advocates—that the coronavirus outbreak and the resulting economic meltdown bolsters the case for Medicare for All, the Vermont senator’s signature policy proposal.

Sanders’ Medicare for All plan would provide everyone in the U.S. with comprehensive healthcare for free at the point of service and virtually eliminate the private insurance system which has left 80 million Americans uninsured or underinsured—a number that is rising rapidly as millions lose their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“How can it be that we spend 18% of our [gross domestic product] on healthcare—more than any other major country on Earth—but still lack the beds, masks, ventilators, gowns, gloves, and test kits we need to adequately respond to this crisis?” Sanders asked in a tweet on Wednesday.

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“We must transform our dysfunctional healthcare system,” said Sanders.


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Italy’s ‘Black Roosters’ fight back as virus hit wine sales

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Two days before the coronavirus pandemic shut down Italy for two months, shattering wine exports and sales, the owner of one of its most historic vineyards headed back into the country a worried man.

Six months later Francesco Ricasoli and his wine-making team are leading the charge by Italy's "Black Roosters" -- the trademark for Chianti Classico -- to put the country's most famous label back on restaurant tables.

"These are probably some of the most turbulent times in Italy," said Ricasoli, 64, the 32nd Baron of Brolio whose family's roots to Tuscany stretches back to 1141.

"We've seen a strong decrease in wine sales -- particularly in restaurants and bars that specialise in the high end of the market," he told AFP at his winery with the same family name.

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2020 Election

Lincoln Project releases devastating new ad against Republican Lindsey Graham

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The chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee had his own words used against him in a hard-hitting new ad from the Lincoln Project.

"If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump's term, and the primary process has started, we'll wait till the next election," Graham promised The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg in October of 2018.

It wasn't the only time Graham had made such a claim, as was pointed out by Vanita Gupta, the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

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2020 Election

Trump’s chief election watchdog sees the 2020 contest as a ‘spiritual war’

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

One of Trump's early scandalous moves was issuing and executive order directing the IRS to not enforce a law barring tax-exempt organizations from intervening in electoral politics, or at least not to enforce it against churches. At the time, it was mostly notable because directing an agency to use its discretion in enforcing the law was seen as the essence of tyranny when Obama did just that to protect undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children from deportation. But the religious right was disappointed that the order wasn't as expansive as they had hoped, and in the rush of other policy disasters and scandals, it was largely forgotten by the public.

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