The logical result of Cruz’s “Consumer Freedom Option” will, of course, be nothing like freedom for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions, who will find themselves segregated into the ACA-compliant plans, which will essentially turn into high-risk pools with the sickest and most costly patients, which will require ever higher premiums, which will price folks with pre-existing conditions out of their coverage.
But I’m not an insurance company, so what do I know? Let’s see what Blue Cross Blue Shield (whose members cover 106 million Americans) and America’s Health Insurance Plans (whose companies cover 200 million Americans) think of the Cruz proposal:
It is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people currently enrolled in the individual market….
This would allow the new plans to ‘cherry pick’ only healthy people from the existing market making coverage unaffordable for the millions of people who need or want comprehensive coverage, including, for example, coverage for prescription drugs and mental health services….
The Consumer Freedom Option establishes a ‘single risk pool’ in name only. In fact, it creates two systems of insurance for healthy and sick people….
…this provision will lead to far fewer, if any, coverage options for consumers who purchase their plan in the individual market. As a result, millions of [sic] individuals will become uninsured [AHIP President/CEO Marilyn B. Tavenner and BCBS President/CEO Scott P. Serota, letter to Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, cited in Tierney Sneed, “Insurers Torch New Cruz Provision in TrumpCare: ‘Simply Unworkable’,” Talking Points Memo, 2017.07.15].
Simply unworkable. There is no simpler evaluation of the Republican Senate health care plan.
An anxious reader contacted Senator M. Michael Rounds’s office recently and asked what in the Republican health care plan would prevent insurers from saying to customers with pre-existing conditions, Sure, you can buy coverage from us, but we’re going to charge you an arm, leg, and liver more than folks without pre-exsiting conditions?
The Senate bill does improve on the House bill that Rep. Kristi Noem voted for by keeping the community rating requirement, the Obamacare provision that prohibits insurers from charging people higher premiums based on health status.
Senator Rounds nods toward this provision in his response to my reader’s call (with my emphasis added to the salient response on pre-existing conditions):
Thank you for contacting me about the plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare. I appreciate hearing from you.
I, along with others, encouraged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to delay a planned vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). I believe there are opportunities to make the bill better. As discussions continue on the BCRA there are provisions I am working to amend that would help make coverage better, more affordable and more accessible to more Americans.
South Dakotans have reached out to me with concerns about the BCRA. In particular, many have expressed fears of losing coverage due to pre-existing conditions as well as concerns about perceived cuts to Medicaid. Even under the current BCRA proposal, Medicaid payments will continue to increase, just at a slower rate than under the ACA, making the program more sustainable for future generations. Further, under the proposed Medicaid changes, states like South Dakota would actually fair slightly better than under current law over the next few years. Also, no one with pre-existing conditions can be denied access to insurance as long as they maintain continuous coverage.
As you know, health care accounts for approximately 18 percent of our nation’s gross domestic product. In the coming weeks, the Senate will continue consideration of improvements within the proposal. With Obamacare premiums having already risen 124 percent in just the last four years, doing nothing is simply not an option. We believe it is important that innovation be allowed back into the marketplace and competition be encouraged. South Dakota families want both assurances that health care coverage is available and they want to know they can afford to protect their families.
Again, thank you for contacting me; hearing from you is important to me.
United States Senator
[emphasis mine; letter to South Dakota constituent, July 2017]
But watch out: Rounds’s colleague Senator Ted Cruz has offered an amendment to the Senate bill that would allow an insurer to offer policies that don’t comply with ACA protections like those for folks with pre-existing conditions as long as the insurer offers at least one ACA-compliant policy. That Cruz amendment would make access a weasel word:
Cruz’s proposal makes some political sense: Moderates can say protections for those with preexisting conditions are being maintained, while conservatives can claim they’ve freed consumers from the tyranny of government regulation.
In policy terms, however, it’s just the abolition of protection for many with preexisting conditions by other means. The severely ill wouldn’t be denied access to the insurance market, but only in the sense that they are not, currently, denied access to Lamborghini dealerships.
Under Cruz’s model, many healthy consumers would avoid shelling out for high-cost, comprehensive plans. This would then make the pool of people willing to pay for such coverage disproportionately sick, which would cause the price of such plans to rise, which would make the pool even sicker, which cause prices to premiums to rise further, which would make the pool sicker still, on and on, in a death spiral, until the sick were priced out of the market completely [Eric Levitz, “Ted Cruz Has a Proposal That Just Might Save Trumpcare,” New York Magazine, 2017.06.29].
Senator Chuck Grassley recognizes the Cruz amendment as “subterfuge to get around pre-existing conditions.” Let’s hope Senator Rounds shares that recognition and prevents the Cruz amendment from gutting pre-existing condition protections. Better yet, let’s hope Senator Rounds comes to his senses and realizes that not one proposal from his party this year has promised to “make coverage better, more affordable and more accessible” than the Affordable Care Act is doing right now.
In the Imperfect Analogy Department, Ted Cruz enraged Trump Lives Matter delegates last night by insisting that All Candidates Matter.
In his speech to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ted Cruz said nothing “wrong,” at least from a Republican speechmaking perspective. His reference to LeBron James nicely connected local fandom to the larger message of scoring a comeback victory for America and perhaps even slyly self-deprecated the speaker’s own hoop-clueless gaffe back in April. His story of the tearful orphaned daughter of one of the five Dallas police officers slain in the state he represents fit perfectly with the fearmongering that has characterized nearly every performance at The Q this week. It also stoked the martyr complex of the Christian conservatives in the room—”He protected the very protesters who mocked him because he loved his country, and his fellow man. His work gave new meaning to that line from literature, ‘To die of love is to live by it.'” (That’s not plagiarism, but it’s a weak citation: the quote comes not from faceless “literature” but from Victor Hugo.) He invoked “evil” and “radical Islamic terrorism.” Cruz listed a series of firm Republcian policy positions—school choice, repeal Obamacare, unregulated Internet, freedom of conscience, right to bear arms, end of judicial activism, states’ rights. He attacked Hillary Clinton (with the crazy assertion that “Clinton believes that government should make virtually every choice in your life,” which even my ten-year-old responded to immediately with “That’s not true!” but which is fine for the target audience).
Cruz even said Donald Trump’s name… once… to congratulate him on winning the nomination.
But then he made this perfectly reasonable, principled statement, and the convention went nuts:
We deserve leaders who stand for principle, who unite us all behind shared values, who cast aside anger for love. That is the standard we should expect from everybody. And, to those listening, please don’t stay home in November.
Yet Ted Cruz, with that perpetual sleazy-smarmy look that will forever keep him from winning a Presidential election, sneered again at New York and said, “I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation.”
Wow! Even that sentence, word by word, a denotatively polite compliment, uttered by Cruz in this context becomes a transparent insult to the New York billionaire he refused to name in the last 97% of his speech.
Republican delegates now have an object lesson in why their roaring insistence that “All Lives Matter” is so insulting to Americans who are fighting institutional racism. Ted Cruz is absolutely right that “We’re fighting not for one particular candidate, or one campaign, but because each of wants to be able to tell our kids and grandkids, our own Caroline’s, that we did our best for their future and our country.” But in this context, those otherwise benign words attack the imperative of the moment, to rally behind the last man who can save Republicans from a second Clinton Presidency or a third term for Obama.
[Reporter Jonathan] KARL: What did you think when you first heard Donald Trump’s proposal to put a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States?
[Charles] KOCH: Well, obviously that’s antithetical to our approach, but what was worse was this we’ll have them all register. That’s reminiscent of Nazi Germany. I mean that’s monstrous as I said at the time [interview, This Week, ABC News, 2016.04.24].
Koch is also scared of the GOP’s second-place offering, Ted Cruz:
KARL: And when you hear another top presidential candidate talking about making the sand glow and carpet bombing in the Middle East…
KOCH: Well, that’s gotta be hyperbole, but I mean that a candidate, whether they believe it or not, would think that appeals to the American people. This is frightening [ABC, 2016.04.24].
Charles Koch is so dismayed with Trump’s fascism and Ted Cruz’s jingoism that he says he hasn’t thrown any money behind any of the Republican candidates and won’t support the nominee unless he hears something very different:
KARL: So are gonna sit out this presidential election?
KOCH: Well, we’ll see. I mean, when we get a nominee then we’ll explore that. And we don’t want arm waving. We want to know specifics.
KARL: You couldn’t see yourself supporting Hillary Clinton, could you?
KOCH: Well, I– that– her– we would have to believe her actions would be quite different than her rhetoric. Let me put it that way. But on some of the Republican candidates we would– before we could support them, we’d have to believe their actions will be quite different than the rhetoric we’ve heard so far [ABC, 2016.04.24].
Their spending typically is concentrated on influencing legislation at the congressional and state levels, rather than on the top of the ballot. That may make any hesitation to spend on the 2016 presidential race less significant than a broader reluctance to keep backing Republicans.
Asked if sitting out the presidential election was a possibility, Koch said “we’ll see.” He said he wanted specifics from the Republican candidates. “We’d have to believe their actions will be quite different than the rhetoric we’ve heard so far.”
Through Americans for Prosperity, Charles and David Koch are spending their money to deny South Dakotans the benefits of Medicaid expansion. Senator Bernie Sanders, whom Koch didn’t mention in his remarks yesterday, understands that the Koch brothers would destroy even more good policy:
Well, you know, I think when you talk to the Koch brothers, understand what they mean, George. These guys want to eliminate Social Security. They want to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid. They want to basically do away with virtually every major piece of legislation that has been passed since Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president.
That is their understanding of what government should be about. And needless to say, that is not my view.
On the other hand, I think you’ve got a lot of Republicans out there, working class Republicans, who understand that there’s something wrong when their kids can’t afford to go to college, something wrong when their jobs have gone to China and Mexico and they’re making 50 percent of what they used to make.
We have, in Vermont — and I think in this campaign — attracted a number of working class Republicans who understand that it’s important to have a government that fights for all of us and not just the 1 percent.
But why, that is not what the Koch brothers believe. They believe quite the — quite the contrary [Senator Bernie Sanders, interview with George Stephanopolous, This Week, 2016.04.24].
Charles Koch’s money is working against the common good. But at least his mouth is in the right place on the awfulness of the leaders of the Republican Presidential contest.
Nothing should surprise us any more when a reality-TV show host is about to win the Republican nomination for President. But try this sentence on as another sign that we have slipped into alternative universe: Ted Cruz called Donald Trump too politically correct to be President after Trump said we should let our transgender neighbors use the bathroom they feel is appropriate:
Trump began Thursday by criticizing the law that targets transgender people, saying legislators in the Tar Heel State should have left well enough alone.
“There had been very few complaints the way it is,” Trump said on NBC’s Today show. “People go — they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble.”
…On the Today show, Trump said he didn’t know whether he has transgender employees — “I probably do” — and said yes when asked whether he would allow Caitlyn Jenner to use any bathroom she wanted in Trump Tower.
If Trump is part of the “PC Police,” I’m Mike Huether’s chief of staff. Trump himself in the same Today interview said replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill is an act of “pure political correctness.”
25% of Bernie Sanders voters say they will not vote for Hillary Clinton in the fall. 14% of Clinton voters refuse to support Sanders on the November ballot. Such refusal may simply be primary-season cheering: it’s one thing to boo the White Sox when they play at Target Field; it’s another when the White Sox are the last defense on October 31 against the Yankees winning the Series.
Such refusal is certainly foolish, of course, because if you’re really voting for the policies of either Sanders or Clinton, and your preferred candidate doesn’t win the Democratic nomination, there’s no one on the Republican side who gets you closer to your policy objectives than your sub-optimal Democratic nominee.
These numbers reflect not policy analysis but a much stronger personal animus among voters for the current delegate leaders. The only head-to-head match-up Clinton wins is against Donald Trump (50% to 41%), and that’s only because more people dislike Trump than dislike her. 53% of those who pick Clinton over Trump say they’re voting against Trump; 61% of Trump’s “supporters” (including 60% of Trump Republicans) are really just anti-Clinton. (Oof—what kind of mandate to govern does one have when a majority of one’s voters are simply voting against the other candidate?)
Taking Trump out of the picture unleashes the Clinton hatred: Ted Cruz ties her, and John Kasich beats her.
Take Clinton out of the picture, and Democrats are guaranteed a win in November:
Consider: Hillary Clinton has apparently accumulated so much negative public sentiment over 25 years that she is less popular and viable as a general election candidate than a self-professed socialist.
Sanders swings the needle most among Independents, winning majorities among that electoral segment against all three Republican prospects while Clinton loses among Independents against Cruz and Kasich and musters a meager plurality win against Trump 44% to 41%.
But Indies don’t matter in a majority of the remaining primaries. Of the eighteen remaining primaries and caucuses, I count ten closed contests, four open, and four “semi” (including South Dakota, where Indies can vote on the Dem side but not on the GOP side). Clinton doesn’t need to win lots of Indy votes right now. She needs to press her case with those who can vote. Once she has climbed that hill, she can turn to convincing those Indies that she really does stink less than Trump, Cruz, Kasich or (worst-case scenario for Clinton?) whatever fresh face emerges from a brokered GOP convention.
South Dakota’s Republican Presidential delegates who are willing to express a preference rebuffed a pitch from a John Kasich campaigner at their March 19 caucus and uniformly told MSNBC that they back Ted Cruz.
For now, Cruz can take heart that even if South Dakota votes for Trump in June — binding nearly all 29 delegates to back the New York billionaire on the first ballot — the delegates signaled they’re with him at heart.
“I have a preference for Cruz,” said Matt Bruner, a Republican precinct chairman from White. “Right now, seeing Kasich in there — Kasich is in the race for nothing other than a hope and prayer. … It’s very, very much a Cruz delegation” [Kyle Cheney, “Shadow Campaign to Deny Trump His Delegates Begins,” Politico, 2016.03.24].
South Dakota Democratic Party Vice-Chair returns with another essay on the need for Democrats to stand up with simple truth against the Republicans’ ceaseless malarkey. Last fall he launched a defense of President Obama against GOP mythmaking; now he offers a critique of the Republican Presidential candidates’ detachment from truth.
Captain Chaos and the Rest of the GOP Crew
It is time to speak again about letting the GOP drive the narrative. This election is one of the most important in our country’s recent history. What’s at stake? The soul of America. Many of the GOP candidates believe that each person is responsible for his or her lot in life. I believe it is a shared responsibility. That is why I am a Democrat.
We are a great party and have much to be proud of. For more than 200 years, our party has led the fight for civil rights, health care, Social Security, workers’ rights, and women’s rights. We are the party of Barack Obama, John F. Kennedy, FDR, and the countless everyday Americans who work each day to build a more perfect union. Let’s look at some of our accomplishments:
Under the leadership of Democratic President Woodrow Wilson, the U.S. Constitution was amended to grant women the right to vote. The 19th amendment granted women’s right to vote.
In the 1930s, Americans turned to Democrats and elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt to end the Great Depression. President Roosevelt offered Americans a New Deal that put people back to work, stabilized farm prices, and brought electricity to rural homes and communities.
Under President Roosevelt, Social Security established a promise that lasts to this day: growing old would never again mean growing poor. It was largely opposed by Republican legislators.
In 1944, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the G.I. Bill—a historic measure that provided unprecedented benefits for soldiers returning from World War II, including low-cost mortgages, loans to start a business, and tuition and living expenses for those seeking higher education.
Harry Truman helped rebuild Europe after World War II with the Marshall Plan and oversaw the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
In the 1960s, Americans again turned to Democrats and elected President John F. Kennedy to tackle the challenges of a new era. President Kennedy dared Americans to put a man on the moon, created the Peace Corps, and negotiated a treaty banning atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons.
President Johnson’s enactment of Medicare was a watershed moment in America’s history that redefined our country’s commitment to our seniors.
In 1976, in the wake of the Watergate scandal, Americans elected Jimmy Carter to restore dignity to the White House. He created the Departments of Education and Energy and helped to forge a lasting peace between Israel and Egypt.
In 1992, after 12 years of Republican presidents, record budget deficits, and high unemployment, Americans turned to Democrats once again and elected Bill Clinton to get America moving again. President Clinton balanced the budget, helped the economy add 23 million new jobs, and oversaw the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in history.
In 2008, Americans turned to Democrats and elected President Obama to reverse our country’s slide into the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression and undo eight years of policies that favored the few over the many. Under President Obama’s direction and congressional Democrats’ leadership, we’ve reformed a health care system that was broken and extended health insurance to 32 million Americans [“Our History,” Democrats.org]. Source: Democrats .Org
To defend and promote our accomplishments and values, we must fight the GOP’s effort to drive the narrative with falsehoods and flat-out lies. Each of us has to stand up and ensure the truth is known when we speak to our friends and neighbors
Mr. Trump touts family values, but if you weren’t in a coma during the ’90s, you know about Ms. Maples. The aspiring actress’s affair with the mogul 17 years her senior that precipitated the “divorce of the century” [Judith Newman, “Marla Maples Finds Her Groove,” New York Times, Nov. 14, 2012].
Summer 1990: Trump is deep in debt over his opulent Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, NJ . He agrees with a group of lenders to restructure 2.1 billion of loans.
Fall 1990: He struggles to pay the interest on Taj Mahal casino and negotiates with his bondholders. He also told contractors, who were owed money, after the restructure, to accept a 30% cut in what they were owed or risk losing more.
July 1991: Places his casino under bankruptcy protection.
1991: Sells his personal Boing 727 and Trump Princess Yacht.
March 1992: Places two more casinos, Trump Plaza and Trump Castle, into bankruptcy.
1993: Uses part of the proceeds of a Trump Plaza note sale to repay debt in New York.
1993: Sues his co-owner of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York, the Pritzker family.
1994: Sells 70% of a West Side Manhattan tract to Hong Investors.
Trump touts his great business prowess, but like his candidacy for President, that prowess doesn’t fit the facts. Trump counts on showmanship to distract from those facts, and the polls show far too many Republicans fall for it.
Trump isn’t the only Republican hiding facts with showmanship. Let’s look at some of the misshapen GOP rhetoric presented in the last GOP debate:
Ted Cruz claim:President Obama’s preparing to send $100 billion to the Ayatollah Khamenei.
Ted Cruz makes it sound if we are giving the largest foreign aid payment to Iran. In reality, we have secured a seven-nation nuclear deal that commits Iran to curbing its nuclear activities. The deal allows Iran to regain access to about $100 billion of its own money that was frozen by international sanctions.
Jeb Bush comments on the prisoner release: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said he saw “weakness” in the Obama administration’s dealings with Iran. “Let’s take a step back here,” Bush told a town hall meeting in New Hampshire. “The bigger issue is that we’ve legitimized a regime who shows no interest in actually moving toward the so-called community of nations.”
In truth, the U.S. has not been alone in shifting its pose toward Iran, which is part of what would make undoing it difficult. The nuclear deal was negotiated alongside France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China, a coalition that managed to hang together through lengthy discussions and difficult domestic politics. Since then, Iran has joined in international talks seeking an end to the Syrian civil war. White House officials say they see those talks as a test of whether other conversations are possible [Source: “Prisoner Swap Puts GOP Candidates in a Tough Spot,” AP, Jan. 16, 2016].
Again, the GOP Presidential candidates are critical yet offer no other solutions except the normal hawkish talk. In this case diplomacy did work and it did not cost us American lives like the 6,840 U.S. service members that have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom [Source: Washington Post—Faces of the Fallen].
Trump claim about Syrian refugees. “When I look at the migration, I look at the line, I said… where are the women? It looked like very few women. Very few children. Strong and powerful men, young and people are looking at that and they’re saying what going on?”
Trump must have looking from the same spot where he saw Muslims dancing in the street after 9-11. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, of the 4.6 million Syrian refugees, men ages 18 to 59 make up 21.4%. The rest are women and children, or people over 60 or older [Source- Associated Press- Fact Check-“Misshapen rhetoric in Thursday’s Republican debate,” January 16, 2016].
Captain Chaos and his fellow GOP Presidential candidates are living in an alternate world where they constantly misshape the facts. They perpetuate fear as their main tool to gain support in the polls. In addition many are playing the Evangelical card. I do not believe one of the prime tenants of the Christian Religion is to spread hateful statements about Blacks, Latinos, and persons of other faiths.
For our party much is at stake, and I am asking you my fellow Democrats to get involved and not give the election away. Stand up to those that are spreading falsehoods, both at the state and national level. We are a great party with great values, and one of those values is our commitment to telling the truth.
We have outstanding Democratic presidential candidates and well as Paula Hawks, who is running for US Congress. The need you support. I am also asking you to come together after our presidential candidate is picked and support either Hillary or Bernie. Don’t walk away from being involved just because your candidate did not prevail. Whoever leads our ticket, we Democrats cannot give this election away. Let’s fight for the facts and fight for our values.
South Dakota Democratic Party
Something must have frozen over this morning—I wake up, read the papers, and have to admit that Donald Trump is proposing a healthy and inclusive vision of what it means to be an American.
In last night’s Republican Presidential candidates’ debate on the Fox Business Network, moderator Maria Bartiromo asked Senator Ted Cruz to elaborate on his contention that Donald Trump “embodies New York values.” Here is the transcript from Washington Post of Cruz’s response and Trump’s crushing counterattack:
… let me follow up and switch gears.
Senator Cruz, you suggested Mr. Trump, quote, “embodies New York values.” Could you explain what you mean by that?
CRUZ: You know, I think most people know exactly what New York values are.
BARTIROMO: I am from New York. I don’t.
CRUZ: What — what — you’re from New York? So you might not.
But I promise you, in the state of South Carolina, they do.
And listen, there are many, many wonderful, wonderful working men and women in the state of New York. But everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal or pro-abortion or pro- gay-marriage, focus around money and the media.
And — and I would note indeed, the reason I said that is I was asked — my friend Donald has taken to it as (ph) advance playing Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA”, and I was asked what I thought of that.
And I said, “well, if he wanted to play a song, maybe he could play, ‘New York, New York’?” And — and — you know, the concept of New York values is not that complicated to figure out.
Not too many years ago, Donald did a long interview with Tim Russert. And in that interview, he explained his views on a whole host of issues that were very, very different from the views he’s describing now.
And his explanation — he said, “look, I’m from New York, that’s what we believe in New York. Those aren’t Iowa values, but this is what we believe in New York.” And so that was his explanation.
And — and I guess I can — can frame it another way. Not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan. I’m just saying.
BARTIROMO: Are you sure about that?
TRUMP: So conservatives actually do come out of Manhattan, including William F. Buckley and others, just so you understand.
And just so — if I could, because he insulted a lot of people. I’ve had more calls on that statement that Ted made — New York is a great place. It’s got great people, it’s got loving people, wonderful people.
When the World Trade Center came down, I saw something that no place on Earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely than New York. You had two one hundred…
… you had two 110-story buildings come crashing down. I saw them come down. Thousands of people killed, and the cleanup started the next day, and it was the most horrific cleanup, probably in the history of doing this, and in construction. I was down there, and I’ve never seen anything like it.
And the people in New York fought and fought and fought, and we saw more death, and even the smell of death — nobody understood it. And it was with us for months, the smell, the air.
TRUMP: And we rebuilt downtown Manhattan, and everybody in the world watched and everybody in the world loved New York and loved New Yorkers. And I have to tell you, that was a very insulting statement that Ted made [Sixth GOP Presidential candidates’ debate, North Charleston, South Carolina, transcribed by Washington Post, 2016.01.14].
Good grief—can no one land a punch on Donald Trump without knocking himself to the floor?
If like Iowa caucusgoers think through their criteria for selecting a Presidential nominee, Cruz beats Trump:
Cruz and Trump each lead in seven of these fourteen criteria. But in every criterion that Trump leads, Cruz places second. In the criteria that Cruz leads, Trump places second in only two—appropriate life experience and commander-in-chiefiness—and last in the other five, behind clueless Ben Carson and, on the GOP caucus-crucial abortion issue, behind “Not sure.”
Of course, if these Iowa GOP caucusgoers all voted on policy, we might be able to get them to switch sides and vote for Bernie Sanders. 49% said they “Support a single-payer health care plan instead of the current law” [link added, not provided to survey respondents]. 35% oppose.
49% of the most politically engaged Republicans in the country (we can say that about Iowa caucusgoers, right?) support a policy that their candidates usually portray as one of the most vile and deadly expressions of socialism imaginable. Their support is only slightly lower than that of Democratic caucusgoers, who said in the same survey they prefer single-payer health care 53% to 32%.
Republicans, if you need to shake off that jarring result, your only option may be to say that Iowa caucusgoers hold crazy views on most of the other policies queried in this survey (Climate change is a hoax! Ban all Syrian refugees! Send at least 20,000 troops to fight ISIS! Abolish the IRS!), so they must be crazy on health care as well.
p.s.: Hillary Clinton maintains her lead among Iowa Democratic caucusgoers, 48% to 39%. Clinton leads on nine criteria; Sanders leads on four: