Americans Are Equally Supportive of Single Payer And An Individual Mandate

The AARP just released a new poll on health care reform. It shows that support for a single payer health care system is statistically even with support for an individual mandate to buy health insurance.

Single payer health insurance is supported by 44% of all Americans polled while an individual mandate is supported by 45%.

Interestingly, the question for single payer was:
To what degree do you favor or oppose the following health care proposals? Having a national health plan in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan.
People over the age of 50 were much more strongly opposed (34% support to 60% opposed). Given that many people over 50 are on Medicare, and Medicare is very popular, I suspect that this question was not the best way to ask about single payer health insurance. If the question had been “Do you support giving everyone Medicare?” I think it would have polled much better with the over 50 group.

It is unfortunate that single payer (Medicare for All) is not even being considered. While it may not quite have majority support, it is an idea with significant mainstream backing. It should also be noted that some critical components of the Democrats health care plan also lack majority support.

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