Poll shows likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers divided on health care

A CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll in Iowa finds that a majority of likely Democratic caucusgoers would prefer a health care option that isn’t “Medicare for All.”

About a third (36%) want Medicare for All while another third (34%) want to create a public option for buy in and 20% would prefer to restore lost provisions from the Affordable Care Act and work incrementally from there.

RELATED: Full poll results

Together, a majority (54%) would prefer an option that isn’t Medicare for All, while only 36% prefer the more liberal alternative.

Likely attendees of the Democratic caucus who support Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as their first choice are more likely to support Medicare for All than supporters of other candidates (77% and 68% want Medicare respectively).

Likely caucusers for former Vice President Joe Biden or South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg are more interested in a public option (42% and 48% each). But if you add the reclamation of the ACA back in, 72% of Buttigieg supporters and 71% of Biden supporters want something other than Medicare for All.

Likely caucusgoers who identify as very liberal are more likely to prefer implementing Medicare for All (71%) while moderates lean towards the public option (47%).

Likely Democratic caucugoers ages 65 and over are the most interested in restoring the lost ACA provisions through incremental work (34%), though they are still split between restoring Obamacare provisions and creating a public option (35%).

The discussion around whether to implement Medicare for All has divided the Democratic primary, with the more liberal candidates standing behind the option that would make health care entirely government run and more moderate Democrats advocating for a program that would allow Americans to buy into the public option, but keep their private health care.

Around three-in-five say they understand the current Medicare system well, including 29% very well, while 35% say they understand it just somewhat well or really don’t know.

Older likely Democratic caucusgoers are more likely to say they understand their current Medicare system than the younger ones — 38% of those 65 and older say they understand it very well compared to 19% of those 35 years old and younger.

Those who say they’re extremely enthusiastic about their vote for president in the caucus also seem to be well-informed — 37% say they understand the current Medicare system very well.

The CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll was conducted by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, Iowa, November 8 through 13 among a random sample of 500 likely Democratic caucusgoers reached on landlines or cell phones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample of likely caucusgoers have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.