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Poll: Voters back Medicare expansion, keeping private insurance

Poll: Voters back Medicare expansion, keeping private insurance
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The majority of voters in a new poll supports a health care plan that would expand a public option but maintain the private insurance industry. 

Sixty-seven percent of registered voters support allowing people under 65 to have an option to buy health care coverage through a Medicare program, while keeping private insurance options available, according to the Wall Street Journal/NBC news poll released Sunday. 

Less than half of registered voters, 41 percent, support a single-payer Medicare for All system that would eliminate the private health insurance industry, according to the survey

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That proposals are more popular among Democratic voters. But even among Democrats, keeping a private insurance option is more widely supported, pollsters found. 

The survey found 78 percent of Democratic primary voters said they support allowing people under 65 to have the option to buy health care coverage through a Medicare program.

A smaller percentage of Democratic voters, 63 percent, said they support a single-payer health care system that would eliminate private health insurance 

The results come as Democrats in the presidential primary debate different health care proposals. Progressive candidates such as Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Government watchdog to investigate allegations of Trump interference at CDC, FDA MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters Biden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw MORE (I-Vt.) support a Medicare for All system that would entirely rid the private health care industry. 

Others White House hopefuls, including Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter As VP Kamala Harris could be a powerful voice for women's retirement security The clock is ticking and Trump is still taking a shellacking MORE (D-Calif.) and South Bend., Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg says it's time to 'turn the page' on Trump administration Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 Biden town hall questioner worked as speechwriter in Obama administration: report MORE (D), have proposals that would expand Medicare for more Americans but keep private options open for those who want it. 

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter Trump narrows Biden's lead in Pennsylvania: poll Florida breaks first-day early voting record with 350K ballots cast MORE does not support a Medicare for All plan, and has instead proposed expanding on the Affordable Care Act, which he said he aided in creating during his time in the Obama administration. 

The new poll surveyed 900 registered voters, including 506 who said they would vote in a Democratic caucus or primary. The poll was conducted between Sept. 13 and 16. It has a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points for the full sample and 4.4 percentage points for questioning involving only Democratic voters.