A March survey found that the 3,073 U.S. adults who backed Medicare for All were just as likely to say the current Congress should focus on passing a public health insurance option (30 percent), such as a Medicare or Medicaid buy-in plan that extends coverage to more or all Americans without eliminating the private market, as they were to prioritize Medicare for All (29 percent).

Medicare for All supporters were also more likely to back a 2020 candidate who prioritizes passing a public option (35 percent) over a candidate pushing Medicare for All (31 percent) as the highest priority, while another 19 percent preferred a candidate who focused on protecting and strengthening the Affordable Care Act.

The data suggests that, in spite of the fervor for expanding health coverage, a majority of Medicare for All supporters, like all Americans, are leaning into their pragmatism in response to the current political climate — one which has left many skeptical that Capitol Hill can jolt into action on an ambitious proposal like Medicare for All quickly enough to wrangle the soaring costs of health care.