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Support for Single-Payer Health Care Continues To Grow

Bernie Sanders and 16 Democratic senators have presented a new single-payer health care plan to Congress. Voters have been cool to single-payer in the past, but they seem to be slowly coming around to the idea, even though they still think it will drive up both taxes and the federal deficit.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters favor a single-payer health care system where the federal government provides coverage for everyone. That’s up from 44% in May which was the first time in surveys since 2009 that more voters supported a single-payer system than opposed it. Thirty-six percent (36%) still oppose a single-payer system, but this is a new low.  Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure how they feel about single-payer health care. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Despite the increase in support for a single-payer system, 49% think it’s likely to increase the federal budget deficit. Just 12% think a single-payer system will decrease the deficit, while 25% think the deficit will stay about the same. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.

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Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters think their personal taxes are likely to go up if a single-payer government health care system is established. Just six percent (6%) believe their personal taxes will go down, while 20% say they’ll stay about the same.

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 The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 12-13, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Sanders' single-payer proposal calls for making the Medicare government retirement health insurance program available to all Americans. Voters are evenly divided over whether this is the way to go, even though they expect it to drive up health care costs and hurt the quality of care.

The older the voter, the more likely he or she is to oppose a single-payer government-run health care system.

Democrats (74%) are far more supportive of a single-payer system than Republicans (23%) and voters not affiliated with either major party (44%) are.

Most Republicans (67%) and 49% of unaffiliated voters expect a single-payer system to increase the federal budget deficit, a view shared by only 33% of Democrats. But most Democrats (55%) agree with 73% of GOP voters and 63% of unaffiliateds that a single-payer system is likely to make their taxes go up.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of voters who Strongly Approve of President Trump's job performance oppose a single-payer system, but 75% of those who Strongly Disapprove of the job Trump is doing favor one.

Even among voters who favor a single-payer system, however, 32% expect it will increase the deficit, and 51% anticipate it will raise their personal taxes.

If the government controls the health care system, 45% of all voters expect higher health care costs, and 43% think the quality of care will suffer.

Forty-nine percent (49%) believe the federal government is responsible for making sure that all Americans have health care, but only 40% think taxpayers can afford it.

Voters feel more strongly than ever that reducing health care costs is more important than mandating health insurance coverage for everyone as Obamacare requires. Fifty-five percent (55%) expect the cost of health care to keep going up under Obamacare.

Most (73%) still rate the overall quality of the health care they receive as good or excellent.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only. 

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 12-13, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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