If we’re playing a game of “majority rules,” then everyone in America would have the right to affordable health care, according to a new poll from The Commonwealth Fund.
The report is aptly titled, Americans’ Views on Health Insurance at the End of a Turbulent Year.
The Fund surveyed 2,410 U.S. adults, age 19 to 64, by phone in November and December 2017. This is the sixth survey conducted by the Fund to track Americans’ views of the Affordable Care Act; the first survey was fielded in mid-to-fall 2013.
9 in 10 working-age adults say “yes” indeed, my fellow Americans and I all have the right to affordable health care, as the chart illustrates.
For those who do not agree that affordable health care is a right for all Americans, most (58%) also don’t feel that if they had to pay something to have the right to affordable care, it would be a right. That calculates to 4% of the overall working age population who gives a double thumbs-down to affordable health care as a right — regardless of whether there’s a tax or other mechanism to pay for it.
The vast majority of Americans support affordable health care as a right across political party: 99% of Democrats, 82% of Republicans, and 92% of Independents.
Note further convergences: that support for affordable care as a right garners nearly all people, regardless of race or ethnicity. The same holds for insurance status, whether commercially insured by an employer or enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare, through a health insurance marketplace, or uninsured.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: I pointed out Venus/Mars split not by gender but by state — Idaho vs. Oregon — in “A Tale of Two States” last week in Health Populi. While zero miles apart, really, the state legislatures are a planet-chasm away from each other, with Oregon moving toward universal coverage for Oregonians, and Idaho looking to skinny plans that go against the principles of the Affordable Care Act — quite far from the concept of universal coverage.
Yesterday’s New York Times pointed out that “A Big Divergence is Coming in Health Care Among States,” Author Margot Sanger-Katz notes, “Little by little, the Trump administration is dismantling elements of the Affordable Care Act and creating a health care system that looks more like the one that preceded it. But some states don’t want to go back and are working to build it back up.”
It’s not as simple as Blue vs. Red. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, uber-Red Governor of the Dairy State, is working to bolster the ACA health insurance marketplaces for the state’s health citizens.
For a couple of years, most Americans have polled that they want to be some flavor of health citizen, with a universal right to some level of health care as a right for all.
This survey from Gallup, polled in May 2016, asked Americans whether they resembled “Bernie,” “Hillary,” or “Donald” when it came to the ACA in terms of replacing with a national health plan for all Americans, repealing the ACA, or keeping and tweaking the plan.
Bernie — the national health plan — took first place in that poll.
If that poll were taken today, as the proportion of people without health insurance has begun to rise, and those on insurance are paying higher deductibles and/or are stressed about losing their health plan, I’d place a bet we’d find even more Bernie-plan fans.