Nearly half of Americans now want single-payer healthcare

December 4, 2017

More Americans than ever before (47%) now would prefer a single-payer, government-run healthcare system versus a system based on private insurance, according to the findings of a nationwide telephone poll of over 1,000 adults  released by Gallup on December 1.

This marks a significant shift in attitudes from earlier this decade, when Americans consistently preferred the private insurance option, the polling organization stated.

Traditionally, Gallup updates have found as much as a 27-percentage-point gap in favor of the private insurance system,versus one run by the government. That gap shrank to 10 percentage points in 2016— and essentially has disappeared in this year’s survey, conducted November 2 through November 8, with 48% preferring the private health insurance system and 47% preferring the government-run system.

This mixed reaction toward a U.S. government-run healthcare system, often dubbed “Medicare for all,” is similar to those seen in the past, when Democratic presidents— including Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton, and most recently Barack Obama— proposed ways to increase government involvement in healthcare, Gallup said.

Given this Democratic legacy in promoting increased government involvement in healthcare, it is not surprising that current attitudes are intensely partisan, the pollster added.

Indeed, two-thirds of Democrat, as well as Independents who lean Democratic, favor a government-run system; whereas. three-quarters of Republicans and Independents who lean Republican favor a system based on private insurance.

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