Single-payer health care has become a litmus-test issue for Democratic politicians lately, and a new poll shows that a majority of Americans are in favor of it, The Hill reported.
What’s the story?
According to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 51 percent of Americans support single-payer health care, and 43 percent oppose it.
Illustrating the divisiveness of the issue, however, is the fact that while 74 percent of Democrats support single-payer, 80 percent of Republicans oppose it.
The poll also asked respondents about ObamaCare, finding that 53 percent of Americans still support it, while 41 percent oppose. Still, 86 percent of Republicans oppose the law, while 91 percent of Democrats support it.
What is single-payer health care?
Single-payer health care is a system in which a single public agency takes finances health care for everyone. It is sometimes referred to as “Medicare-for-all.”
Why do people want it?
Advocates of single-payer health care say it would provide more equality in health coverage, and that expenses could be controlled more effectively through lower administrative costs.
Opponents argue that the lack of a competitive market is bad for everyone, and will impact the quality and availability of services. This could lead to long wait times for people to receive necessary health care services, or to government denials of certain treatments to certain payments. It would also presumably drastically inflate the federal budget.
Is it coming in the future?
The Democratic Party has laid the groundwork for single-payer to be a key issue in the primary for the 2020 election.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) authored a Medicare-for-all bill that, while unlikely to pass, sets the bar for health care debates among liberals.
The bill was endorsed by numerous presidential hopefuls, such as Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). It notably did not include details on how it would be funded.