According to a survey released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, initial support for the "Medicare-for-all" comes in at 56% - increasing to as much as 71% when people are told it would guarantee health insurance as a right, eliminate premiums and reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
"The issue that will really be fundamental would be the tax issue," says Harvard professor Robert Blendon of the T.H. Chan School of Public Health in response to the poll. Blendon noted that single-payer programs in Vermont and Colorado failed due to concerns over tax increases required to fund them.
There doesn't seem to be much disagreement that a single-payer system would require tax increases, since the government would take over premiums now paid by employers and individuals as it replaces the private health insurance industry. The question is how much.
Several independent studies have estimated that government spending on health care would increase dramatically, in the range of about $25 trillion to $35 trillion or more over a 10-year period. But a recent estimate from the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst suggests that it could be much lower. -Associated Press