Majority of Americans support single-payer: poll

While Republicans continue to fail at their repeal efforts, Senator Bernie Sanders' plan is garnering more support

Published September 22, 2017 6:01PM (EDT)

People rally in favor of single-payer healthcare for all Californians (Getty/Robyn Beck)
People rally in favor of single-payer healthcare for all Californians (Getty/Robyn Beck)

As Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders continues the fight for his groundbreaking “Medicare-for-all” legislation, a new poll shows that Americans are in favor of a single-payer health care system by a “slim majority.”

As the Hill reported on Friday, a new Harvard-Harris Poll shows that as a whole, 52 percent of Americans support a single-payer system.

“Given all of the discontent with health care and desire for coverage, single-payer has more support than I have seen in the past, with the country split down the middle,” said Harvard-Harris Poll co-director Mark Penn.

The poll also showed that 69 percent of respondents believe the single-payer system would “provide more coverage.” 54 percent of Republicans agree. Nevertheless, a great majority of Republicans and a small majority of Independents are against the bill, 65 percent and 51 percent in opposition, respectively.

Sen. Sanders formally introduced his “Medicare-for-all,” single-payer health-care bill in mid-September, transforming a once abstract and idealistic concept into an ambitious possibility. Sixteen senators have already signed on to co-sponsor the bill, including Democratic Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, all 2020 presidential contenders. Though at the moment its unlikely the bill will pass in a

Though such a bill will never be passed by a Republican-controlled Congress, Sanders intends to garner public awareness and support for his proposal, in the hopes that public demand will eventually overwhelm politics.

“Our job is to join every major country on Earth and guarantee health care to all as a right, not a privelege. Today, we tell the insurance and drug companies we are sick and tired of being ripped off by your greed,” Sanders said in an address at the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee Convention. “Do everything you can, get the word out, all over this country, to your friends, that no republicans should vote for this disastrous [Repeal and Replace] bill. And if they do, they will pay a very heavy political price.”

The Harvard-Harris poll comes at a time when Republican Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham are watching their last-ditch attempt to repeal Obamacare fall apart. And for 56 percent of Americans, another poll shows they are more than pleased to see its defeat.


The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll found that even 42 percent of Republicans prefer Obamacare over the Republican’s current bill.

Penn says that all of these figures are likely to change — in either direction — following an upcoming nationally televised debate. On Monday, September 25th, Graham and Cassidy will face off against Sanders and Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar on CNN, while also answering questions from the audience.

The debate will come five days before the Senate's September 30th deadline to vote on a repeal.

By Jennie Neufeld

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