9.18.19 / Updates

Polls Show Majority Of Americans Satisfied With Their Health Care

WASHINGTON – On last week’s debate stage, proponents of Medicare for all, including Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), defended their calls to move every American into a one-size-fits-all system run by politicians by claiming that Americans are unhappy with their current health coverage and care.  But public opinion research, including recent polling from Gallup, paints a different picture.  In a story headlined, “Warren and Sanders say Americans don’t like their health insurance.  Polls don’t back that up,” CNN notes:

According to Gallup polling from late last year, 82% of Democrats said the quality of health care they received was either good or excellent.  A large majority, 71%, believed their health care coverage was either good or excellent.  Even when it comes to health care costs, 61% of Democrats said were satisfied with what they paid in health care.

The same poll also notes that the vast majority of all Americans are satisfied with the quality of their health care – rating it ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ (80 percent) – and their level of coverage (69 percent).

And while Senator Warren “argued that, despite these numbers, she has ‘actually never met anybody who likes their health insurance company.’  It turns out that Kaiser posed this question to Americans back in 2013 ‘Do you have a generally favorable or generally unfavorable opinion of your own health insurance company?’  In that poll, 72% of Democrats they had a favorable view of their health insurance company.  That’s triple the 24% who said they had an unfavorable view,” CNN added.

Instead of eliminating the choice and control that the majority of Americans enjoy, candidates should instead focus on building upon our current system.  National polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) shows that six in 10 Americans oppose Medicare for all once they learn it would eliminate private coverage.
 
Meanwhile, a new national poll by the KFF 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.”  A separate poll released by Kaiser in July found support for Medicare for all on the decline, as “a larger share of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents would prefer lawmakers build on the existing ACA” and “the share of Democrats who now say they ‘strongly favor’ a national Medicare-for-all plan is down” 12 percentage points in the three months since Kaiser last asked the question.

In addition, Voter Vitals – the Partnership’s new quarterly tracking poll conducted nationwide and in 2020 battleground states – finds that a supermajority of Democrats (69 percent) support building and improving on what we have today over new government insurance systems.

And while some continue to promote the public option as a more “moderate” alternative to Medicare for all, 2020 contenders and others readily acknowledge such an approach would lead to the same one-size-fits-all government-run system, and a flash poll conducted by Forbes Tate Partners on behalf of the Partnership reveals that voters prioritize improving our current health care system over offering a new government insurance system, often referred to as the “public option.”

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