Pro-Obamacare group's poll finds majority support for 'Medicare for All'
A poll conducted by the pro-Obamacare group the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 56% of Americans support the "Medicare for All" plan being pushed by far-left Democrats.
But the Foundation got a different response when cost was mentioned in the poll question.
The poll finds that there are wide swings in support and opposition to the idea depending on how the question is asked.
When people are told that Medicare for all would "guarantee health insurance as a right for all Americans," support shoots up to 71 percent.
But when people are told that the proposal would "require most Americans to pay more in taxes," support plummets to just 37 percent.
Other slightly less far-reaching proposals have more support than Medicare for all, the poll finds.
For example, 75 percent of the public supports allowing people who don't get insurance through work to buy insurance through Medicaid instead of a private insurer, the poll finds. That includes a majority of Republicans as well, at 64 percent.
The poll highlights how public support for Medicare for all could hinge on how the idea is framed by both sides.
The poll finds that most people (77 percent) are aware that they would have to pay more in taxes to fund a Medicare for all system, but that a majority of people (55 percent) erroneously believe they would be able to keep their current health insurance under a full-scale Medicare for all proposal.
Congressional Democrats are split over whether to focus on simply improving the Affordable Care Act or on being more ambitious and pushing for Medicare for all.
The poll finds more Democrats favor the former approach: 51 percent of Democrats say House Democrats should focus on "improving and protecting the ACA," compared to 38 percent who said they should focus on passing Medicare for all.
If nothing else, the survey demonstrates polling's dark arts – the ability to manipulate people into getting the response desired. It's called "push polling," and no reputable polling firm would use it.
To Kaiser's credit, it phrased questions about single-payer and Medicare plans several different ways. It hardly matters. If people understand they're going to get something for "free," they're generally for it. But Kaiser neglected to ask a direct question like, "Would you support a Medicare for All program if it cost $30 trillion over 10 years?"
No doubt, that 56% number would drop considerably.
Most Americans have come to expect government to take care of them. Self-reliance, personal responsibility – these qualities are vanishing from American life. I suppose it's inevitable when so many people are living paycheck to paycheck and look to government to make their lives easier.
Will it make us a better country? It will definitely make us a different country. Whether we'll be better for it is an open question.