Press Release

Weekly Pulse: Almost 60 Percent Unwilling to Give Up Doctor, Current Coverage for Federal Plan

Plurality thinks Washington has a role, but not as provider of healthcare, says JCN/ weekly tracking survey

Washington, DC (October 11, 2018) – As candidates for Congress debate health insurance leading up to the mid-term election, most Americans are unwilling to trade in their doctors or current policies in exchange for a new mandatory federal program, according to the JCN/ Weekly Pulse, released this morning.

“A strong majority of Americans would reject a massive new entitlement if it means losing their doctors or current benefits,” said JCN Foundation President Elaine Parker. “That’s significant, because a lot of candidates are campaigning on Medicare for All.”

Three quarters of Americans believe it is “very important” for people to have quality health care, the survey found, and a plurality, 45 percent, say the federal government is responsible for ensuring access. When asked if they would be willing to give up their own doctor or insurance plan in exchange for a program requiring them to buy coverage through the federal government, 59 percent are opposed.

“Medicare for All sounds good to a lot of people until they read the fine print,” said Parker. “Our survey asks the question in much more practical terms, and the results are starkly different.”

Parker noted that a similar majority of Americans don’t know that the Trump administration has taken steps to increase lower-cost options, such as Association Health Plans and short-term coverage. When asked if it is true or false that the administration recently approved a rule giving people a choice between high-cost, bells-and-whistles coverage and lower-cost basic coverage, nearly 60 percent said false.

“The administration has done some important things to expand choices and reduce costs, but a large majority of Americans don’t know about it,” she said.

On the economy, 56 percent of Americans say the economy is excellent or good. That figure is basically unchanged since the survey was launched a month ago. Eleven percent rate the economy as poor, while three percent are unsure.

Broken down into various subcategories: twice as many men as women rate the economy as excellent; the age group most confident in the economy is over 65 years old; and, 25 percent of Americans who purchase their own insurance – typically small business owners and self-employed people – say the economy is excellent. That’s a significantly higher percentage than the other groups identified by insurance type.

“We’ve been in the field every week for a month and we’re starting to see some interesting trends,” said pollster Scott Rasmussen. “A very stable majority of Americans think the economy is in good shape. That number hasn’t moved significantly. We’re also seeing some persistent differences in the way Americans see the economy based on gender, race and ethnicity, age, generation, employment status, and other categories.

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