Thursday, July 27, 2017
Plurality Of Americans Now Support A Single-Payer System
The chart above reflects results of a new Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between July 23rd and 25th of a random national sample of 1,500 adults (including 1,282 registered voters), with a 3.1 point margin of error.
It shows that now a plurality of Americans (about 40%, or four out of 10) would support a single-payer health care system, while only 33% say they would oppose such a system. The fly in the ointment is that the remaining 27% aren't sure they would like such a system.
That's a significant percentage supporting single-payer (a system like Medicare that would cover all Americans), but it's not enough. Congress will not make such a radical change (no matter how much sense it makes) until a significant majority of Americans want it to happen. It would probably take at least 60% support for serious consideration.
Opponents still claim a single-payer system would cost too much. That's a false argument. The nations who do have a single-payer system spend far less for health care per capita than the United States does. A single-payer system, if done right, would actually save money -- and no citizen would have to go without health care because they can't afford private insurance (and can't qualify for Medicaid due to stringent state standards).
I believe we will finally go to a single-payer system in this country. But more needs to be done to convince the public that it is the only rational solution to our health care woes. It will not happen until the people demand it.
Meanwhile, the Senate Republicans are still struggling to pass some kind of health plan repealing Obamacare. They brought the odious House version of Trumpcare to the floor on a very close vote -- 51 to 50 (with Pence braking the tie). On Tuesday night, they tried to replace the House version with the latest Senate version of Trumpcare. That effort failed on a 43 to 57 vote. Then on Wednesday, they tried to pass a "repeal now and replace later" plan proposed by Paul. That failed on a 45 to 55 vote.
There are still several hours of debate left, but the GOP is struggling to find a plan, any plan, that they can get passed. The latest idea is a "skinny repeal", which would leave most of Obamacare intact but repeal the individual mandate and the employer mandate (and the medical apparatus tax). The CBO says that would increase the number of insured by 16 million people, and would raise insurance premiums by at least 20% (and probably more than that).
In short, the Senate Republicans have no plan that would not hurt millions of Americans. They've painted themselves into a corner by campaigning on a repeal of Obamacare for the last seven years, and now they can't come up with any plan to do that. They are just engaging in one of the most pathetic pieces of political theater I've ever seen.