New Kaiser Poll: ‘Most Democrats Prefer a Presidential Candidate Who Wants to Build on the Affordable Care Act’
WASHINGTON – As Democratic presidential hopefuls prepare to debate one another in Houston tonight, the Kaiser Family Foundation released new national polling data, which “probes Democrats’ views about the general approaches to expanding health coverage and lowering costs” and finds that “[m]ost Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (55%) say they prefer a candidate who would build on the Affordable Care Act to achieve those goals. Fewer (40%) prefer a candidate who would replace the ACA with a Medicare-for-all plan.”
As in past polling, Kaiser also found that “large shares” express uncertainty about what proposed new government-controlled insurance systems would mean for them. The American public’s confusion over one-size-fits-all proposals such as Medicare for all is not surprising. “Such a sweeping overhaul of the country’s patchwork health insurance system hasn’t been attempted before,” The Washington Post reports, “and even though the 2020 contenders frequently mention it, they tend to shy away from details on exactly how the whole thing would work.”
Previous national polling data released by Kaiser in June revealed that “majorities of Americans are unaware of the kind of dramatic changes that [Medicare for all] would bring to the nation’s health care system.” However, “[t]here’s one thing Americans understand about Medicare-for-all: It would mean higher taxes … Americans seem most familiar with the fact that Medicare-for-all would require massively higher taxes,” The Washington Post reports. As Kaiser noted, “[t]he survey finds eight in 10 Americans (78%) are aware that taxes would increase for most people under such a plan.”
A national poll conducted earlier this year by Kaiser revealed that support for Medicare for all drops when people find out it would “require most Americans to pay more in taxes (-23 percentage points),” and Voter Vitals – a new quarterly tracking poll conducted nationwide and in 2020 battleground states – finds that a majority of Democratic voters are unwilling to pay any more in taxes for universal coverage and a supermajority of Democrats (69 percent) support building and improving on what we have today over new government insurance systems.