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Poll finds most Americans misunderstand full scope of ‘Medicare for All’


Many Americans remain confused about the impact “Medicare for All” will have on the health care system, according to a new poll.

This month’s Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking poll found that majorities of Americans are unaware of the kind of dramatic changes that Medicare for All would entail.

Despite what the authors of two Medicare for All bills in Congress have said, the poll found majorities of respondents think they would still be paying premiums, deductibles and co-pays.{mosads}

Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed said people would continue to pay deductibles and co-pays when using health care services, despite the most popular Medicare for All bills’ proposal to eliminate such cost-sharing.


Meanwhile, 55 percent of respondents believe that people with private insurance would be able to keep their current plans, though a national health plan would replace that coverage under Medicare for All.

The poll found 54 percent of respondents also said they believed that individuals and employers would continue to pay health insurance premiums.

Respondents were also divided by political party, with Republicans having a better idea of what the plans will actually entail than Democrats.

For example, the poll found only 24 percent of Democrats think that people who buy their own insurance would not be able to keep their current plans. On the flip side, 53 percent of Republicans said they knew people’s current plans would go away.

Under the plans being debated by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and White House hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the single payer Medicare for All plan would cover virtually all services free of charge, and private health insurance would essentially cease to exist.

Several Democrats running for president have backed the Senate version of Medicare for All, but candidates have largely avoided explaining the details of the plans they support.

In focus groups, Kaiser said many participants expressed skepticism about the idea that private insurance companies would cease to exist under a Medicare-for-all plan.

Some thought these companies were too powerful, and others thought they would continue to exist for people who want to buy extra coverage beyond what a national plan would offer.

Still, most respondents were aware that Medicare for All would mean higher taxes. According to the poll, 78 percent of respondents said they were aware that taxes would increase for most people under such a plan.

The poll was conducted among 1,206 adults from May 30 to June 4. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Tags Bernie Sanders Pramila Jayapal

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