3.03.2020

Polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that more than half of people who support Medicare for all don’t realize it would eliminate private insurance.

Polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that more than half of people who support Medicare for all don’t realize it would eliminate private insurance. 

In a January survey, 59% of respondents who support Medicare for all said, incorrectly, that people with insurance through an employer would be able to keep it. That’s much larger than the 34% who said correctly there’d be no employer-provided insurance under Medicare for all.

By definition, Medicare for all would cover everybody, leaving no role for private insurers. Sanders wants a government plan to eliminate the profit motive in the private health insurance industry, so that the largest possible portion of funding goes toward care for patients rather than executive bonuses, stock buybacks, lobbying and frills. The whole point is to centralize health care under a single public agency and send private insurers packing.

Medicare for all immediately becomes less popular once people realize it would eliminate private insurance. 

Overall support for Medicare for all drops from 51% to 37% when pollsters tell respondents it would eliminate private insurance, while opposition jumps from 44% to 58%. The bottom line is that voters have a poor understanding of Medicare for all, and those who understand it best don’t like it.

For all the complaining about insurers and medical costs, most of the 150 million Americans who get coverage through an employer like what they have. 

 In a 2019 Kaiser survey, 68% of people with such coverage rated it as excellent or good. Overall, 72% said they’re “grateful” for such coverage. Those are the folks who worry that losing private insurance could lead to lower-quality care and longer wait times, even if the government covered everything.