Poll Finds Majority of Voters Satisfied With Their Health Insurance
WASHINGTON — A majority of Americans are satisfied with the nation’s current health insurance system, and say they’d be less inclined to vote for any lawmaker who wants to replace it with a new, government-run health insurance system, according to a new poll.
The poll was conducted by Locust Street Group, a Washington-based advertising and marketing consultancy, and the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, an alliance of hospital, health insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists opposed to the expansion of Medicare and especially the creation of Medicare for All.
It comes just weeks after Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., introduced their Medicare for All Act of 2023, which the bill’s sponsors say will expand Medicare to provide comprehensive benefits to every person in the United States.
In a press release explaining their bill, Sanders, Jayapal and Dingell said the array of benefits bestowed by the act would include primary care, vision, dental, prescription drugs, mental health, substance abuse, long-term services and supports, and reproductive health care.
In addition they assert the act would also provide “universal coverage of long-term care with no cost-sharing for older Americans and individuals with disabilities,” and that it would prioritize “home and community-based care over institutional care.”
“Additionally, patients have the freedom to choose the doctors, hospitals and other providers they wish to see without worrying about whether a provider is in-network. Importantly, the legislation streamlines the health care system to negotiate drug prices and reduce exorbitant administrative waste,” the lawmakers add.
They close by stating the legislation is already co-sponsored by more than half of the Democratic Caucus and 13 ranking members of House and Senate committees.
The pollsters, however, said the data they’ve collected unequivocally shows the lawmakers are out of step with the majority of Americans on this issue, and that the responses they gathered make it clear “voters do not support creating risky, unaffordable, government-controlled health insurance systems like the public option or Medicare for All.”
“Instead, voters want our lawmakers to continue building on what’s working in health care to expand access to affordable, high-quality health coverage and care for every American,” the pollsters said.
By the Numbers
The latest “Voter Vitals” health care tracking poll was conducted online by the Locust Street Group between May 18 — the day after the Medicare for All Act of 2023 was introduced — and May 26.
It gathered the opinions of a national sample of 2,000 likely voters that the pollsters said were “balanced” in terms of gender, age, race, income, political ideology and health coverage. LSG said the margin of error of the poll is +/- 2%.
The pollsters found that a majority of likely voters (51%) are satisfied with the current health system, and that an even larger majority (73%) are satisfied with their personal health insurance plan.
The most popular reform proposal when it comes to the nation’s health care system is building upon and improving on the existing system (65%), while only 49% would support the creation of a new public option or Medicare for All.
One strong takeaway from the survey is that most Americans simply don’t trust the federal government to create a new option, or for that matter, do anything that won’t become a boondoggle.
A majority of survey participants (53%) said they do not trust the federal government to design and manage a health insurance plan that meets the needs of all Americans.
Among their top concerns was that such a government-designed system would result in higher taxes, more bureaucracy and red tape, and that the quality of the health care they receive would actually go down.
When it came to the cost of health care, 68% of respondents overall said they would not be willing to pay more for a new government-run system, including 61% of Democrats, 66% of swing voters and 81% of Republicans.
Asked if they’d be willing to pay more in premiums, co-pays and out of pocket expenses for a new government-run health care system, 73% said no, including 68% of Democrats, 74% of swing voters and 89% of Republicans.
Finally, a majority of survey participants (54%) said they trust the free market more than the federal government to manage health care for Americans. This included 51% of swing voters and 78% of Republicans.
Meanwhile 61% of Democrats said they felt the federal government would do a better job of managing the nation’s health care than the free market.
The Well News reached out to the offices of Sanders, Jayapal and Dingell to get their response to the survey. This article will be updated as they respond.
The Well News also reached out to organizations that have endorsed the Medicare for All Act of 2023 bill, and will update this article with their responses to the survey findings as well.