Kaiser poll: Democrats and Independents overwhelmingly support Single Payer
From the Kaiser Health Tracking poll, December 2015:
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.
By Don McCanne, M.D. from the PNHP website, see here
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 important.
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.