Fewer voters support universal health care and variations of 'Medicare for All'

Support for various forms of universal health care has declined since earlier this year, according to a Hill-HarrisX poll released on Tuesday.

The nationwide survey found that 62 percent of registered voters support some form of universal health care, a 9-point drop from a similar survey in February.

Twenty-seven percent respondents in the most recent survey backed universal coverage that would allow people to buy private, supplemental insurance, while 25 percent supported universal coverage with a choice to opt out of private insurance.

Another 10 percent supported a plan most closely aligned with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti rips Sanders over handling of feud with Warren On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Sanders defends vote against USMCA | China sees weakest growth in 29 years | Warren praises IRS move on student loans MORE’s (I-Vt.) "Medicare for All" proposal, which would provide universal coverage and effectively abolish private insurance.

Medicare for All has been co-sponsored by several of Sanders's fellow Democratic presidential candidates.

Progressive rival Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti rips Sanders over handling of feud with Warren On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Sanders defends vote against USMCA | China sees weakest growth in 29 years | Warren praises IRS move on student loans MORE (D-Mass.) has thrown her support behind the proposal — which seeks to eliminate private insurance in favor of a single-payer, government-run plan — but has faced scrutiny over how’d she pay for it.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Hill.TV's Krystal Ball on Sanders-Warren feud: 'Don't play to the pundits, play to voters' MORE has made the financing issue central to his attacks on Medicare for All, saying that, unlike Warren, Sanders has at least acknowledged that middle-class taxes would have to go up.

The recent Hill-HarrisX poll survey also found that 19 percent of voters support keeping the current health care system intact, a 5 point gain from the February poll.

That increase is seen as a positive for Biden, who has pledged to build on and expand the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial Overnight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030 MORE (D-Calif.), who co-sponsored Medicare for All in 2017, said during a campaign fundraiser last month that she is not “comfortable” with Medicare for All.

Sanders later hit back, saying the U.S. needs a health care system that will “guarantee affordable health care for all, not just for those who can afford it.”

Harris’s version of Medicare for All includes a role for some private insurers and has a longer transition period to Medicare for All.

The Hill-HarrisX survey was conducted online among 1,001 registered voters from Sept. 20-21. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

—Tess Bonn