GOP Ties Democrats to ‘Socialism’ Over Single-Payer Health Care Bill

When Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday pitched the health care bill he crafted with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), the South Carolina Republican presented it as a choice between a GOP measure that would provide block grants to states to administer their own programs or legislation backed by Democrats that he said would amount to “socialism.”

“Here’s the choice: socialism or federalism,” he said. “We know how this movie ends if we don’t change it: We’re going to have single-payer health care.”

Indeed, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and 16 Democratic senators, as well as numerous House Democrats, are pushing a single-payer health measure, though party lawmakers are far from united.

At the same time, the legislation could be popular among the electorate, according to a new Morning Consult/POLITICO poll that surveyed 1,994 registered voters.

A 49 percent plurality of respondents said they support a single-payer health care system, where all Americans would get health insurance from one government plan. Thirty-five percent said they oppose that kind of policy.

The poll, conducted Sept. 14-17, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

The plan is particularly popular among Democrats, with support from 67 percent of respondents, as well as a 46 percent plurality of independents. Fifty-two percent of Republican voters oppose single-payer, while 33 percent said they support it.

Sanders’ office did not respond to a request for comment.

Overall support for single-payer is up 5 percentage points since April. Democratic backing has increased 13 points, while opposition from Republicans climbed 5 points.

That rising opposition among Republicans has party strategists hoping to use the issue as a litmus test against Democrats.

Chris Hansen, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said even Democrats who don’t support the plan could get burned by it during the 2018 midterm elections.

“It might be like, ‘They lied…

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