Survey: Election May Flip on Implementation of Medicare for All

While Democratic primary candidates wrestle with policy proposals around Medicare for All, polling numbers indicate that implementation specifics determine popular support. A Medicare for All Option (such as the one proposed by candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg) enjoys a 2:1 preference against mandatory programs proposed by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Voting-age Americans would prefer no change at all to the current private health system over mandatory Medicare for All.


When given a choice between Mandatory Medicare for All, Optional Medicare for All and No Change, voting-age Americans choose a public option 2:1 over mandatory Medicare for All.


When given only two options, either Mandatory Medicare for All or no change vs. Optional Medicare for All or no change, health reform moves from a majority-opposed to majority-supported position. This could make the difference among independent voters.

“While there is clear support for a path to universal healthcare,” says HealthPrep Data Scientist Russ Jones, “voting age Americans are wary of a complete break with the current system.” When all three options are offered to voting age Americans (Mandatory Medicare for All, Optional Medicare for All, or No New Medicare Option), only 22% of the population prefers the mandatory solution proposed by candidates like Senator Warren and Sanders. “We do see significant collapse when respondents are given only two options, but the remaining gap is sufficient that a majority of Americans reject mandatory Medicare for All (52.9%) while a majority supports a Medicare for All option (53.8%),” describes Jones.

There are several key takeaways from the surveys, which were uniquely collected in that each recipient (3 sets of 1500) were only asked a single question, so as not to bias further questions.

  1. No demographic segment of the population (age, sex, region) preferred the mandatory Medicare for All policy over the Medicare for All option.
  2. Medicare-based healthcare reform moves from majority support to majority opposition based on whether its implementation is optional or mandatory, respectively.
  3. Given a choice between Single Payer Medicare or our existing Private Health System, voting-age Americans choose our existing system.
  4. Compared to a public option or no change at all, Medicare for All is extremely unpopular.

HealthPrep Data Services will continue to monitor public position related to health insurance policy as the candidate field narrows and the candidates have an increased opportunity to explain their positions.

About HealthPrep Data Services
HealthPrep Data Services is a division of which serves 5 million users monthly with the latest in health information, advice and trends. HealthPrep Data Services surveys Americans on a variety of health-related topics including health policy, health practices and healthcare needs.

Russ Jones
HealthPrep Data Services
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