Thursday, December 17, 2015

qotd: Kaiser Poll: 58% of Americans support Medicare for all

Kaiser Family Foundation
December 17, 2015
Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: December 2015
By Bianca DiJulio, Jamie Firth, and Mollyann Brodie

From the Tracking Poll:

As the presidential primaries inch closer and candidates begin to debate
the intricacies of their platforms, a long-discussed health policy
option has reemerged in debate between democratic candidates; the idea
of creating a national health plan in which all Americans would get
their insurance through an expanded, universal form of health insurance
called Medicare-for-all. When asked their opinion, nearly 6 in 10
Americans (58 percent) say they favor the idea of Medicare-for-all,
including 34 percent who say they strongly favor it. This is compared to
34 percent who say they oppose it, including 25 percent who strongly
oppose it. Opinions vary widely by political party identification, with
8 in 10 Democrats (81 percent) and 6 in 10 independents (60 percent)
saying they favor the idea, while 63 percent of Republicans say they
oppose it.

From the Press Release:

Recently Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie
Sanders debated the idea of "Medicare-for-all," which involves creating
a national health plan in which all Americans would get their insurance
through an expanded version of the Medicare program. A large majority of
Democrats (81%) support the idea of Medicare-for-all, as do most
independents (60%), while most Republicans (63%) oppose the idea. The
poll did not ask about details or tradeoffs.

At the same time, few Democrats say the issue will be the driving force
behind their vote: just 5 percent of Democrats say that it will be the
single most important factor in their presidential vote. A third of
Democrats (34%) say it will be very important, but not the most
important factor, while others say it will be one of many factors they
will consider (36%) or that it won't matter at all (5%). Future polls
may explore the issue in greater depth.

KFF December 2015 Tracking Poll:

Press Release:


Comment by Don McCanne

Many political insiders contend that a single payer national health
program - an improved Medicare for all - is off the table, so
essentially all current political efforts are directed to paring back or
modifying the Affordable Care Act - Obamacare. Bernie Sanders does not
agree and has injected Medicare for all back into the political arena.
So what do Americans think about Medicare for all?

This new poll shows that there has been no decline in support of
Medicare for all in that 58 percent of Americans still support the
concept, in spite of implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Although
there is a partisan divide - 81 percent of Democrats support it and 63
percent of Republicans are opposed - it should be noted that 60 percent
of independents also support the idea.

Although this poll did not identify reasons for the opinions, it is
likely that many who do not support the concept are simply ideologically
opposed to social solidarity, though they would likely use different
labels (freedom, markets, individual responsibility, etc.). Others may
be opposed because they believe the system is working for them and are
concerned about the uncertainties of change.

The poll asked Democrats who support Medicare for all whether this issue
might affect their vote in the 2016 presidential election. Although they
report that only 5 percent of all Democrats consider it to be the most
important factor in their vote, in fact most Democrats do consider it to
be a factor to some degree, with only 5 percent saying that it is not

So now that the Affordable Care Act has been implemented, Americans
still want something better. The majority of Americans, including the
majority of independents, support Medicare for all. Let's work on it.

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