Kaiser Poll Details Americans’ Campaign Interests; Reveals Very Few Understand Medicare for All
June 19, 2019
Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) just released the results of the most recent KFF Health Tracking Poll conducted May 30–June 4, 2019. The poll measured Americans’ expectations from the Democratic presidential campaign and also their perception of the proposed national health plan, also called Medicare for All.
Top Issues for 2020 Democratic Presidential Campaign
According to the poll, 87 percent of the Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents expect presidential candidates to talk about health care. Other issues that are perceived as “very important” by the respondents are issues affecting women (80%), climate change (73%), gun policy (72%), and income inequality (70%), which are followed by the economy, immigration, criminal justice reform, foreign policy and national security, taxes, and international trade and tariffs.
When the respondents who said health care is “at least somewhat important” were asked to elaborate on issues of interest during the 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, they highlighted:
- Lowering the amount they pay for health care
- Increasing access to health care
- Protecting the 2010 Affordable Care Act
- Implementing a single payer system
- Lowering prescription drug costs
- Protecting people with pre-existing conditions
- Access to reproductive health services
What is a National Health Plan?
The survey also measured to what extent the proposed Medicare for All plan is understood by Americans. The results revealed that most of the respondents know little about how such a plan would change the current health care system.
- Majority of Americans (69%) think people would still pay deductibles and co-pays under the national health system
- More than half of Americans (55%) think people with employer-based insurance would be able to keep their current plans
- More than half of Americans (55%) think people would still be able to buy their own insurance
- More than half of Americans (54%) think individuals and employers would continue to pay health insurance premiums
In addition, almost 80 percent of Americans think a national health plan would increase taxes for most people. About 64 percent of Republican participants said that hospitals and doctors would be paid less under a national health system, while 48 percent of the Democrats said this would not happen.
Pennsylvania hospitals support efforts to ensure coverage for all individuals and look forward to continuing to engage in policy conversations with elected officials about expanding access to coverage and care. HAP believes the existing framework—which offers subsidized coverage through health care insurance exchanges reflecting the market in each state, combined with expanded access to Medicaid—is the most viable mechanism to expand coverage and reduce costs.
For information about the discussions surrounding health care reforms, contact Laura Stevens Kent, HAP’s vice president, federal legislative advocacy.