Most Americans favor Democratic health care approaches

A new survey from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the New York Times, and the Commonwealth Fund found that two-thirds of Americans support Democratic approaches to changing the health care system, while a third prefer the type of approach backed by congressional Republicans.

The survey results were outlined in an October 30, 2019 New York Times article.

The survey asked 2,005 adults to choose from one of three potential health care plans—one similar to “Medicare for all,” one similar to less sweeping Democratic proposals that would move the country closer to universal coverage, and one like a plan proposed by Republicans that would reduce federal involvement in the health system, giving more control to states.

The survey found that, overall, those who favored bigger changes to the health system (either a Medicare for all plan or another Democratic approach) are less satisfied with the current system, are willing to pay higher taxes to ensure that all Americans could have health coverage, and are more likely to think that the government should be largely responsible for the health system.

Although those who preferred Democratic approaches were roughly split between support for a Medicare for all plan and a more incremental plan, there was still a substantial degree of overlap in opinion between these groups on many questions of policy and values. Robert Blendon, Richard L. Menschel Professor of Public Health and Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis at Harvard Chan School, who helped design the survey, said that these shared values suggest that there are opportunities for Democrats to craft a health plan with wide appeal.

Read the New York Times article: How Americans Split on Health Care: It’s a 3-Way Tie