More than five years after the single-payer system was scrapped from ObamaCare policy debates, just over 50 percent of people say they still support the idea, including one-quarter of Republicans, according to a new poll.
The single-payer option – also known as Medicare for all – would create a new, government-run insurance program to replace private coverage. The system, once backed by President Obama, became one of the biggest casualties of the divisive healthcare debates of 2009.
The idea remains extremely popular among Democrats, with nearly 80 percent in support, according to the poll, which was shared first with The Hill by the Progressive Change Institute.
“There is a hunger in America for big progressive ideas,” spokesperson TJ Helmstetter wrote in a statement. “The state of our union is progressive, and the president would be smart to give America the big, popular, progressive economic ideas that people have been crying out for.”
Another proposed idea under ObamaCare – the public option – also retains wide approval.
Only 13 percent of people said they opposed the public option, which would give individuals the choice of buying healthcare through Medicare or private insurers.
The Progressive Change Institute, which is a sister organization of the million-member Progressive Change Campaign Committee, has long supported the public option, which Helmstetter said would “level the playing field for consumers and dilute the power of insurance companies.”
The approach was also an initial part of Obama’s reform plan, though it was attacked by both parties on the Hill and was ultimately rejected in favor of a new, government-funded healthcare system based on subsidies.
At the time, Democrats leading the negotiations were accused of caving into corporate interests, while Obama was accused of “selling out.”
As recently as 2009, Obama has also said he is a proponent of the single-payer system, which remains far more controversial among policy experts.
The poll was comprised of 1,500 likely voters and was conducted this month by the firm GBA Strategies.