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Analysis

27% Support Medicare for All, Though Most Need More Info

By Jack O'Brien  
   September 26, 2019

A Commonwealth Fund survey found 40% of adults need more information about Medicare for All to form an opinion.

Only 27% of adults support a Medicare for All system that would eliminate private insurance, though 40% of respondents say they need more information before forming an opinion, according to a Commonwealth Fund survey released Thursday morning.

Overall, nearly 33% of respondents oppose such a proposal, with 60% of Republicans voicing opposition while 43% of Democrats express support. Among independents, 27% support Medicare for All, 34% oppose the proposal, and 38% need more information before forming an opinion.

Medicare for All, along its many variations, has become a bellwether healthcare issue among Democratic presidential candidates and members of Congress seeking to provide more affordable access to care.

The proposal has been met with a polarizing response, as indicated in the Commonwealth Fund survey, with some viewing the proposal as a disruptive measure that might shut down hospitals if implemented.

Related: Healthcare Remains Primary Concern for Voters, With Strong Support for 'Medicare-for-All'

When asked what the primary takeaway of the survey was for health system executives, David Blumenthal, MD, president of the Commonwealth Fund, remarked on the high level of satisfaction among those with commercial health insurance coverage.

More than 80% of respondents stated that they were either 'very' or 'somewhat' satisfied with their current health coverage.

Blumenthal said these metrics indicate a certain level of stability in the U.S. healthcare system, which could create a substantial issue for those pushing for dramatic changes to the existing structure. 

Related: Nonprofits Unsure About Medicare-for-All, But Want Health Reform

Though many respondents indicated they are satisfied with their current health coverage options, affordability continues to be a lingering issue.

Just over half of respondents who stated they did not choose a private health insurance plan or enroll in Medicaid said that they couldn't afford a plan.

Sara Collins, vice president for health care coverage at the Commonwealth Fund, said that even in the face of issues with affordability and healthcare access, some adults with commercial health insurance coverage might view Medicare for All proposals with uncertainty.

As with a May poll conducted by RealClearPolitics, the Commonwealth Fund did not include questions about support for health policy proposals that feature public option. 

Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

Photo credit: WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 26, 2019: MEDICARE FOR ALL sign at bus stop in DC - sign advocating for universal healthcare - Image / Editorial credit: Jer123 / Shutterstock.com


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