Nearly half of adults don't know what 'Medicare for All' is, NORC survey finds

Almost half — 46 percent — of adults aren't familiar with "Medicare for All" proposals, according to a survey from NORC at the University of Chicago.

The AmeriSpeak Spotlight on Health survey, conducted from Dec. 13-16, 2018, surveyed 1,021 interviewees on their perception of Medicare for All proposals. At least seven bills concerning Medicare for All have been introduced to Congress, ranging from extending mandatory Medicare coverage to all Americans to allowing Americans age 55 and older to buy into Medicare.

According to the survey, 40 percent of respondents said they have heard some talk about Medicare for All, while 13 percent said they've heard a lot about the proposal. When respondents were asked about how they think Medicare for All could affect healthcare spending, 47 percent said they think total U.S. healthcare spending will climb, while 29 percent said it will decrease and 21 percent said it will remain the same.

Additionally, 30 percent of respondents said they think care quality would worsen under Medicare for All, while 28 percent said care quality would improve and 39 percent said it would stay the same.

"'Medicare for All' is a term that means something different to everyone, which makes it hard for the public to understand how such a program would work," Caroline Pearson, senior fellow at NORC, said in a news release. "As the policy debate unfolds, politicians will need to coalesce around some key parameters of a Medicare-for-All proposal to help voters understand the impact."

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