Poll finds views of 'Medicare for All' more favorable than 'single-payer' — even though they are the same thing

The public is split on what to do about healthcare, but they may not really know what they are talking about, according to results of the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll.

The greatest proportion of Americans (36 percent) supports building on the Affordable Care Act, rather than implementing a single payer plan (24 percent) repealing and not replacing it (16 percent) or repealing it and replacing it with a Republican alternative (13 percent), according the poll. However, the poll also indicated the words used to describe these plans can significantly change how they are viewed — harkening back to the Jimmy Kimmel bit on Obamacare versus the ACA.

In particular the views of Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) plan were misunderstood. The survey found 64 percent of Americans positively react to "Medicare for All," Sen. Sanders' universal healthcare plan, and 57 percent positively react to "guaranteed universal healthcare coverage." However, when asked about "single-payer health insurance system," 44 percent reacted positively, according to the report. Even among Democrats, there was confusion. About half (53 percent) supported Medicare for All, while only 21 percent positively reacted to "single-payer," though the terms refer to the same thing.

When it is clearly broken down for participants as "guaranteed health insurance coverage in which all Americans would get their insurance through a single government health plan," roughly half are in favor and 43 percent are against it, according to the report.


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