70% of Americans now support Medicare-for-all
70% of Americans now support Medicare-for-all—here’s how single-payer could affect you
The vast majority of Americans, 70 percent, now support Medicare-for-all, otherwise known as single-payer health care, according to a new Reuters survey. That includes 85 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of Republicans. Only 20 percent of Americans say they outright oppose the idea.
“Medicare is a very popular program, so the idea of expanding it to everyone is popular as well,” Larry Levitt, senior vice president for health reform at the Kaiser Family Foundation, tells CNBC Make It. “The advantage of Medicare-for-all, which is much closer to how the rest of the world provides health care to their residents, is that you can achieve universal coverage at a lower cost.”
The problem with health care in the US
For at least a decade, most Americans have been dissatisfied with the country’s largely for-profit health-care system, according to Gallup. In a poll last year, 71 percent of respondents said the system is “in a state of crisis” or “has major problems.”
Health care in the U.S. is criticized primarily for its inefficiency, inaccessibility and ever-rising costs. The average annual deductible for employer-sponsored health care plans, which make up most of the plans in the U.S., was $1,505 in 2017, compared to $303 in 2006, according to the KFF.
Last year workers paid on average $5,714 toward their cost of coverage by way of monthly premiums, a 3 percent increase from the year before.
Although the quality of care tends to be high, care doesn’t reach everyone. Americans forego treatment because of the cost more often than residents in 11 other high-income countries, according to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
A 2017 Bankrate survey found that one out of four Americans said they or someone in their family skipped necessary medical care because they couldn’t afford it. Millions wait each year until they get a tax refund to access medical care they had been putting off, the JPMorgan Chase Institute found.
Passing on treatment when an issue arises is bad enough. But affordability is important because simply going to the doctor for a physical on a regular basis can save your life. That’s according to MacArthur Foundation “genius” Atul Gawande, who was recently selected to lead the joint health care venture formed by Amazon, J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway to tackle rising health-care costs.