Feb 21, 2019 - 3:00pm

‘Medicare for All’ isn’t the Health Care Reform Americans Want, Poll Finds


Vice President, Health Policy

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Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at a health care news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at a health care news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

“Medicare for All” is the hot talk in health care policy. Bills have been introduced  in Congress and presidential candidates have jumped into the fray weighing in on the proposal on the campaign trail.

Many Americans don’t understand what Medicare for All is, and when they do, they don’t like it, a Morning Consult poll commissioned by the U.S. Chamber found.

The poll found only four-in-ten (41%) knew much about Medicare for All.

When asked, most voters believes it is “a system that ensures that all Americans have access to health care services and insurance through a mix of private health care and government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.”

Fewer than one-in-five voters polled could identify it as “a government-run health care system, financed by taxpayers that provides essential health care to all Americans and eliminates private health insurance plans, including those provided by employers.”

When asked if they support just such a program, only 44% supported the idea.

Instead, most voters (72%) support “a system that ensures that all Americans have access to health care services and insurance through a mix of private health care and government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.”

Voters want health care reform that lowers costs, not a massive government program that would replace our health care system.

The poll found more than three-in-four voters (76%) would rather see Congress focus on lowering health care costs for all Americans than create a new government-run health care system.

While voters want all Americans to have access to health care, they don’t see a one-size-fits all, big government system as the answer. Instead, they want leaders in Washington to work together to reduce health care costs.

Those selling Medicare for All have done a good marketing job putting a shiny, new brand on an old, unpopular idea – socialized medicine.

Once voters realize it is actually a massive government program that would upend private health insurance and employer-sponsored health coverage, they reject it.

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About the Author

About the Author

Vice President, Health Policy

Katie Mahoney is vice president of health policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She is responsible for developing, advocating, and publicizing the Chamber’s policy on health and works with members of Congress, the administration, and regulatory agencies to promote the organization’s health policy.