Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

single payer now

Doctors for the 99 Percent march from Zuccotti Park to St. Vincent's Hospital to demand healthcare for all in 2011. (Photo: Michael Fleshman/Flickr/cc)

Spreading 'Like Wildfire': Majority of Americans—Including 74% of Democrats—Now Support Single-Payer

"When people see the justice of an idea, it spreads like wildfire," responded Sen. Bernie Sanders. "The American people know that healthcare should be a right."

Jessica Corbett

"Five years ago, could you have believed that half of Americans would agree we need a single-payer healthcare system?"

That's how Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—a longtime advocate of guaranteeing healthcare for all Americans—responded to a new poll that found that 74 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of all adults surveyed support implementing a single-payer healthcare system in the United States.

"When people see the justice of an idea, it spreads like wildfire," Sanders tweeted Thursday morning. "The American people know that healthcare should be a right."

The Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll asked: "Do you support or oppose having a national health plan—or a single-payer plan—in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan?" More than half said they support it:

WAPO single-payer results

The results align with other polls conducted within the past year. In September, as Common Dreams reported, 49 percent of all voters and two-thirds of Democrats surveyed by Politico/Morning Consult said they supported "a single-payer healthcare system." A KFF poll from July found that 53 percent of Americans somewhat or strongly favor a single-payer plan.

The growing public support for a single-payer system has coincided with action in Congress. Backed by medical professionals, activists, business leaders, and a "groundbreaking " number of Democratic senators, last September Sanders introduced a Medicare for All bill that would transition the nation's current for-profit healthcare system toward a single-payer one.

Ahead of the 2018 midterm election and amid mounting demands from the American public that federal lawmakers sign on to Sanders's bill, studies and political analysts are finding that support for Medicare for All is a politically viable and increasingly popular stance among candidates.

As Washington Post reporter Jeff Stein pointed out, the recent poll also asked about the nation's current healthcare law—the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare—which garnered a similar amount of support from Americans, challenging the notion that advocating for a Medicare for All solution to the problems that still exist under the ACA is an "extreme left-wing" position:


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.

Groups Blast Biden for 'Siding With Billionaires Over Rail Workers'

As criticism of the president's position mounts, some members of Congress are speaking out in support of including at least seven days of paid sick leave in any measure they pass.

Jessica Corbett ·


'A Very Good Day for Our Republic' as Key Jan. 6 Insurrectionist Convicted of Seditious Conspiracy

"Now the only remaining question is how much higher did those plans go, and who else might be held criminally responsible," said one former federal prosecutor after Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers militia, was found guilty.

Brett Wilkins ·


Australian Report Advises 'Urgent Action' to Combat Slavery in Clean Energy Supply Chains

"We need to see industry, government, the financial sector, and civil society working together to provide access to competitively costed, slavery-free renewable energy."

Brett Wilkins ·


Progressives Mobilize in Georgia for Dec. 6 Senate Runoff

Advocacy groups backing Sen. Raphael Warnock call the Democrat a "reproductive rights champion" who is also "fighting to stop the climate crisis and create good jobs in the process."

Jessica Corbett ·


Senate Report Details Failure to Confront 'Persistent and Lethal' Threat of White Supremacists

"The federal government has continued to allocate resources disproportionately aligned to international terrorist threats over domestic terrorist threats," the report reads.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo