Majority of Americans identify universal health care as 'largely socialist,' poll finds

A majority of registered voters view the concept of universal health care as "largely" socialist, according to a new Hill-HarrisX poll released on Thursday.

Seventy-three percent of respondents said they view the idea of universal health insurance as "largely socialist", while 27 percent said they saw the policy as "largely capitalist."

There was not much difference in the way the issue was viewed along party lines. 

Of respondents who identified as Republicans, 76 percent said they viewed the program as "largely socialist," while 73 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of independents said the same. 

Several 2020 Democratic contenders have promoted the idea in recent weeks, including Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersWarren, Klobuchar call on FTC to curtail use of non-compete clauses RNC says it raised .6 million in February Pollster says 'it's certainly not looking good' for Trump ahead of 2020 MORE (I-Vt.), who originally championed the idea in the Senate. 

However, critics of universal health care proposals have slammed the idea, tying it to socialist ideals. 

Marist Poll Director Lee Miringoff predicted that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE will target Democrats with the socialist label in 2020. 

"The Democrats are sort of being convenient for him in terms of the kinds of policies [they're putting forward]," Miringoff said. "They would be happier to be 'liberal' and 'progressive' but some of them are calling themselves socialist." 

The Trump campaign targeted Sanders after he announced his second presidential bid, saying the senator already won the primary because every Democratic candidate is embracing socialism. 

"The American people will reject an agenda of sky-high tax rates, government-run health care and coddling dictators like those in Venezuela," Trump campaign national press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. "Only President Trump will keep America free, prosperous and safe."

The Hill-HarrisX survey was conducted online from Feb. 23-24, 2019, among 1,002 registered voters. The sampling margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. 

— Julia Manchester