Politico, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, January 2019
POLQ1. The new Congress could take action on health care. Here is a list of some things they could do. Because they can only take action on a few of them at a time, we are only asking whether or not you think each of the following should be an EXTREMELY IMPORTANT priority. How about (INSERT ITEM – e.g., c, below)? Should that be an EXTREMELY IMPORTANT priority or not?
c. Providing health insurance coverage for everyone through a taxpayer-funded national plan like Medicare for all
Yes, should be an extremely important priority
Total – 68
Dems – 84
Reps – 39
Inds – 70
No, should NOT be an extremely important priority
Total – 30
Dems – 14
Reps – 60
Inds – 28
Don’t know/ Refused
Total – 2
Dems – 2
Reps – 1
Inds – 2
By Don McCanne, M.D.
The results of this poll should not surprise Medicare for All advocates since it looks like many other poll results in recent years. About two-thirds of respondents think that providing health insurance coverage for everyone through a taxpayer-funded national plan like Medicare for all should be an extremely important priority. The various poll results have been remarkably consistent, although this one emphasizes that respondents believe Medicare for All is “an extremely important priority” considering the number of issues that require Congressional attention.
In spite of strong political polarization in this country, about two-fifths of Republicans agree with the 84 percent of Democrats and 70 percent of Independents who concur that Medicare for all is an extremely important priority.
Give the Republicans a decade of having the security of Medicare for All and then ask them if they would want it taken away. The support certainly would have solidified by then.
It is interesting that some Republican politicians keep insisting that we need to reform “entitlements” – cut Social Security and Medicare benefits – yet Republican voters along with all other voters do not want their benefits tampered with. Former Speaker Paul Ryan advocated strongly for “entitlement” reform yet ended up walking away saying that this failure was his one great defeat, yet his Republican voters did not step up to agree with him.
People support Medicare. If everyone were included, the support would be unanimous, except perhaps for a rare nut or two (and, even then, they would be eligible for psychiatric help).
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