Americans are evenly divided when asked to pick their favorite health-care reform approach from three options resembling leading proposals, according to a new survey from The New York Times, the Commonwealth Fund and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The survey asked 2,005 adults to pick their favorite among three choices: Medicare for All, a more incremental plan like those supported by some Democratic presidential candidates or a Republican plan to reduce the federal role in health care and give more autonomy to states.
Each of the options got about 30% support.
“That means that most Americans support Democratic approaches to changing the health care system,” writes Times reporter Margot Sanger-Katz. “But that group is about evenly split between an expansive set of changes under the Medicare for all proposal favored by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and a less sweeping overhaul that would simply move the country closer to universal coverage, such as those from Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg.”
Among the poll’s other findings:
- Nearly 80% of respondents said that Americans should have a right to health care regardless of their ability to pay.
- Large majorities said the government should require insurers to cover Americans with pre-existing medical conditions. “Protection for people with pre-existing conditions is the status quo, and it can’t be taken away except at a huge political cost,” David Blumenthal, the president of the Commonwealth Fund, told the Times.
- 53% of respondents said they would pay more in taxes so that everyone could have health care, though only 23% of those who preferred the Republican plan said they would do so.