Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

A member of National Nurses United holds a sign at a Bernie Sanders rally that reads: "Love it. Improve it. Medicare for All." (Photo: National Nurses United)

A member of National Nurses United holds a sign at a Bernie Sanders rally that reads: "Love it. Improve it. Medicare for All." (Photo: National Nurses United)

Sanders Has It Exactly Right: Majority of Americans Want 'Medicare for All' System

Gallup survey results highlight 'broad, national longing for a more humane health care system that treats health care as a human right'

Lauren McCauley

Bernie Sanders' call to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with a single-payer healthcare system is a policy that a strong majority of Americans agree with, according to a new Gallup survey released on Monday.

Fifty-eight percent of all U.S. adults favor replacing the ACA with a federally-funded healthcare program, such as Sanders' Medicare for All.

This is compared with 48 percent who prefer to keeping Obama's healthcare system in place, a policy which has been a cornerstone of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton's campaign platform.

"While the ACA curbed some of the most egregious insurance abuses, our healthcare system remains a profit-focused, bureaucratic nightmare for far too many people," Jean Ross, registered nurse and co-president of National Nurses United, told Common Dreams by email. 

Speaking to the Gallup survey findings, Ross added: "What the Bernie Sanders campaign has demonstrated is a broad, national longing for a more humane health care system that treats health care as a human right not based on ability to pay, or your age, gender, race, or where you live." The 185,000-member union has endorsed the Vermont senator, citing his single-payer healthcare plan as one of the key reasons behind their support.

Last week, Clinton "took a step left," as the New York Times put it, with the suggestion that as president she would offer a public option for people above a "certain age."

Notably, when the results were broken down by party affiliation, Gallup found that 41 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters prefer the public option compared to just 16 percent who would want to keep the ACA.

"This may reflect either that Republicans genuinely think a single-payer system would be good for the country, or that they view any proposal to replace the ACA ("Obamacare") as better than keeping it in place," the pollsters state.

At the same time, 73 percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaning voters prefer replacing the ACA with a federal program while 79 percent of those voters would opt to keep the standing system.

However, Gallup found that those who favor both a federally run national healthcare system and the ACA, when given a choice, "come down on the side of the Sanders-type proposal."

"The general idea of a single payer system seems to play well with the majority of Americans," Gallup states, which is something both Clinton and the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump "will need to keep in mind as they debate healthcare in the months to come."

For his part, Trump has vowed as president to repeal the ACA and replace it with a series of healthcare reforms based on "free market principles."

The results are based on telephone surveys with 1,549 adults between May 6 and 8. Gallup estimates a 3-point margin of error. 

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Cancel It, Don't Means Test It!' Omar Says of Student Debt

Progressive lawmakers and other critics continue to warn the Biden administration against the "logistical nightmare" of limiting debt cancellation by income.

Jessica Corbett ·

Trump DOJ Casting Long Shadow Over Biden Admin: Analysis

The Biden administration "should adopt Trump's positions about as often as a stopped clock is accurate," the Revolving Door Project argues.

Brett Wilkins ·

'Fueling the Flames': Model Shows Growing Risk of Wildfires in US

"It's time to end fossil fuels and better manage our forests."

Jessica Corbett ·

Sentenced for Coal Blockade, Climate Activists Vow to 'Continue to Do What Must Be Done'

"The judge seemed more concerned that these non-violent activists disrupted profits than the fact that the continued use of coal is causing irreparable harm to the planet," said one supporter.

Julia Conley ·

Chile Finalizes New Draft Constitution in Bid to Bury Pinochet's Neoliberal Legacy

"This is an ecological and equal constitution with social rights at its very core," the president of Chile's constituent assembly said of the new document, which the nation's adults will vote on in September.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo