A slight majority of Americans favor a single payer system, shown in the first chart. By political party, that splits into 3 in 4 Democrats pro-single payer, and 4 in 10 Republicans (41%).
Note that the 41% of Republicans who favor single payer is a much higher number than the 16% who favor keeping the Affordable Care Act in place.
Gallup writes, “The general idea of a single payer system seems to play well with the majority of Americans.”
Underneath the single-payer sentiment is American health citizens’ growing negative feelings about the U.S. healthcare industry, illustrated in the second chart. While the percentage of people with positive feelings has fluctuated over the past 15 years, there’s a big spike of negativity in 2016: 45% of Americans felt negative about healthcare in 2015, and 54% went negative in 2016. That 9 percentage point difference is a 20% downward trend. The most negative point of consumer sentiment for healthcare reached 57% in 2009 — a year with a rising level of uninsured people (over 50 million people in the U.S.) and American businesses dropping healthcare coverage for workers.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: Can it be that single payer healthcare could be a bridging opportunity between Democrats and a plurality of Republican health citizens? While that bridge may be too far to consider in the post-Presidential election this year, these polling numbers clearly demonstrate how alienated U.S. health citizens are with the current healthcare system of growing high-deductible health plans, high costs (see yesterday’s post on that topic), and the heavy administrative burden of managing one’s healthcare (such as selecting a plan or shopping for services comparing costs and quality).
Healthcare system misery impacts Democrats and Republicans alike.
That 4 in 10 Republicans now think positively about a single payer system for the United States is a clear signal that healthcare is one of Americans’ least-pleasant aspects of life in the nation in 2016. Healthcare providers, payers, and suppliers in the legacy industry should pay heed and respond to consumers’ concerns and demands. Healthcare as we know it has never been riper for disruption.