Saturday, April 08, 2017

Public Seems Ready For Single-Payer Health Insurance

For me, these charts were a pleasant surprise. The United States is the only developed nation that does not provide health care for all it's citizens. Most of those developed countries have a version of some kind of single-payer, government-run health or health insurance system. It is only in the United States that citizens must buy their own private health insurance to help defray medical costs (although Obamacare does help some to buy that insurance by providing government subsidies).

It looks like, for the first time, a majority of Americans are ready for a single-payer system run by the government. The top chart shows that 60% of Americans would favor expanding Medicare so that all citizens can have health insurance, while only 23% would oppose that.

That question could be construed to mean expanding Medicare to cover the poor and low-income people, while still expecting those making middle class incomes (or better) would be expected to buy their own insurance. But the bottom chart is a bit more specific. It asks if the government should create a federally-funded system to provide heal insurance for everyone. Doing that would mean adopting a Medicare-for-all system (a single-payer system) that covers all citizens. And 61% of the public would favor that, while only 24% would oppose it.

Of course, it won't happen while the Republicans control the federal government. They don't think health care should be a right -- but just a product sold to those who can afford it. But it is nice to see that the American public is altering their views on the subject -- and that they might be ready to join the rest of the developed world in guaranteeing all citizens a decent level of health care.

These charts were made from information in a new Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between April 2nd and 4th of a random national sample of 1,500 adults (including 1,331 registered voters), with a 3.2 point margin of error.

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