More than half of Democrats say the coronavirus outbreak is making them more supportive of universal health care coverage, according to a Morning Consult poll published Sunday.
Universal coverage is gaining steam with moderates and partisans alike as cases of people infected with the virus increase, the poll notes. Meanwhile, 30% of Democrats don’t appear to have changed their position on the issue.
The poll shows that 39% of Democrats are “much more likely” to support universal coverage as they weigh concerns related to coronavirus, or COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan, China in December. It killed more than 3,000 people in the communist nation as of Sunday.
Another 20% of Democrats said they are “somewhat more likely” to support such health care policies, the poll notes.
Even Republicans saw an increase in support, with 14% of President Donald Trump’s party saying they are now “much more likely” to support a policy where all Americans would have a public heath care option.
Sen. Bernie Sanders is using the virus as a way of revitalizing his moribund presidential campaign.
“In the last few days, we have seen the crisis of the coronavirus continue to grow exponentially here in the United States and around the world, and we have witnessed a global economic meltdown which will impact millions of workers in our own country,” Sanders said Thursday at a rally in Vermont.
He added: “In terms of potential deaths and in terms of the economic impact on our economy, the crisis we face from the coronavirus is on the scale of a major war and we must act accordingly.”
Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic socialist, reiterated his support for Medicare-For-All, telling rally goers that “the United States government today must make it clear that in the midst of this emergency, everyone in our country, regardless of income or where they live, must be able to get health care.”
The poll was conducted March 12-13 and contains a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. Morning Consult interviewed more than 2,000 participants online.
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