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Bernie May Be Leading, but Don't Bet on Medicare for All, J.P Morgan Says

Yuval Rosenberg

Sen. Bernie Sanders may have emerged from the muddled Iowa caucuses as the apparent frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary race, with both FiveThirtyEight.com and prediction markets giving him the best odds of winning the party’s nomination.

Even so, analysts at J.P. Morgan say the chances that Sanders’ major policy proposals, including Medicare for All and a wealth tax, get enacted in the foreseeable future are extremely slim — less than 5%.

J.P. Morgan economist Jesse Edgerton writes in a note to clients:

“[F]or Medicare-for-all or a wealth tax to become reality, it would require Democrats to sweep the presidency and both houses of Congress, and it would require them to assemble either a large-enough majority to avoid the Senate filibuster or a committed-enough majority to triumph in a bare-knuckled procedural fight. However, the other Democratic presidential candidates have already shown their ambivalence toward dramatic changes like Medicare-for-All, and more conservative Democratic senators would likely be even more skeptical. It thus seems unlikely for all of these stars to align at once—a Sanders/Warren nomination, a Democratic presidential and congressional sweep, and an upswell of support around currently-controversial policies. We thus put the probability of dramatic policy changes like this at less than 5%.”

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