Thursday, January 17, 2019

8 out of 10 Democrats want Medicare for All to be an ‘extremely important priority’

Medicare for All is a viable option that more politicians may want to be on board with if they plan to impress voters.

Image Credit: Molly Adams/flickr

A new Harvard/Politico poll shows the Democratic voters don’t just support Medicare for All, they deem it an “extremely important priority” for the party.

According to the poll, 84 percent, more than eight in ten, of Democratic voters answered “Yes, should be an extremely important priority” when asked about providing health insurance coverage for everyone through a taxpayer-funded national plan like Medicare for all. Only 14 percent of respondents said no, it should not be an extremely important priority, while 2 percent said they didn’t know.

Although support for Medicare for All is much heavier on the Democrat’s side, Republican voters still believe health care changes are extremely important. 60 percent of Republican respondents backed allowing Americans under 65 to buy into Medicare. 83 percent of Democrats also support this proposal. Still, many Republican voters are catching onto the idea. A poll conducted last August showed that overall 70% of Americans support the idea of Medicare for All, 84 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of Republicans.

The poll, as Politico noted, “showed most people weren’t aware of a Medicare buy-in or public option but were broadly supportive of the ideas when informed about them.” 1,013 adults were surveyed for the poll between December 11-16, 2018.

Medicare for All, or single-payer healthcare, has had huge growth in support over the last few years, especially from Progressives. Yet Democrats still seem hesitant to sign on. Some have gone so far as to say that single payer is “unrealistic,” but according to a study by economists for the University of Political Economy Research Institute, the opposite seems to be true. In their study, released in December, Medicare for All is not only economically viable but could save the United States $5.1 trillion in its first decade.

This week Democrats announced their first hearings ever on Medicare for All, solidifying it as a part of the 2020 Democratic presidential platforms. Bernie Sanders says that this will be “opposed by all of the special interests – drug companies, insurance companies, Wall Street – who make billions from our dysfunctional health care system. They may have the money. But we have the people.”

The United States continues to be the only wealthy nation, and one of the few nations overall, that does not have some sort of universal health care. Although single-payer healthcare is not the only form of universal health care, it is a viable option that more politicians may want to be on board with if they plan to impress voters.

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