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Do Americans want 'Medicare-for-all'? New survey shows what happens to support when dirty details are revealed

Politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez advocate for the program

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

With the rise of openly socialist politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Americans are considering, many for the first time, policies such as single-payer health care, which Ocasio-Cortez markets as "Medicare-for-all."

But how do Americans feel about such a plan? According to a new Kasier Family Foundation survey, most Americans are generally fond of such a policy — but only the idea of it, shying away when the dirty details surface.

What did the survey discover?

The poll found that Americans support "Medicare-for-all" — 56 percent to 42 percent — when posed with a general question about the policy.

Support jumps to 71 percent when respondents learned universal health care would "guarantee health insurance as a right for all Americans" and 67 percent when they learned it would eliminate premiums and reduce out-of-pocket expenses for most Americans.

However, support plummeted when respondents were faced with the ugly details about socialized medicine.

When told "Medicare-for-all" would require most Americans pay much higher taxes and eliminate private health insurance companies, support for single-payer health care dropped to just 37 percent, with 60 percent against the plan if it meant higher taxes and 58 against if it means free-market elimination.

Support continued to drop when respondents learned "Medicare-for-all" would "threaten the current Medicare program" and "lead to delays in people getting some medical tests and treatment," with just 32 percent and 26 percent of respondents stating their support, respectively.

What else did they survey find?

The sweeping survey also re-confirmed that most Americans support health care coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions — made law under Obamacare — while a majority of the American public support incremental changes to the health care system. Additionally, the survey found that Democrats would rather improve Obamacare than make wholesale changes to the controversial law.

Among the issues that Americans believe should top lawmakers priority list regarding health care are: ensuring those with pre-existing conditions do not lose health insurance and lowering prescription drug costs.

One last thing…
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