Americans are split on healthcare reform plans

Americans are split across healthcare reform options, according to a recent survey, revealing that many are dissatisfied with the current healthcare system but don’t agree on how to improve it.

The survey, which asked more than 2,000 adults to pick their favorite health plan from three choices, was conducted by The New York Times, the Commonwealth Fund and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Americans were about equally split on which plan they picked, with roughly 30% support for each.

One of the three options was a Medicare-for-all type plan, one was similar to other Democratic proposals, and the third option mimicked other congressional Republican proposals that reduce government involvement in the health system.

Those who supported Medicare for all were more likely to feel dissatisfied with the healthcare system, with just 21% stating they thought the U.S. had the best healthcare system in the world. By comparison, 55% of those who supported the Republican plan said the same. That disparity among the groups makes sense, according to one expert who helped write the study, Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health. That’s because those who are more dissatisfied are likely to support ideas that will cause disruption.

To be sure, Medicare for all would cause a big disruption to the current healthcare system. However, so would the Republican proposal, which would retract Medicaid expansion under the ACA and eliminate essential health benefits.

A whopping 79% of those who supported Medicare for all said they would be willing to pay higher taxes for universal healthcare coverage. That’s higher than the two other groups, and just 23% of those who chose the Republican plan said the same, according to the survey.

Fortunately, Americans did agree a little more in some areas. For example, majorities in all three groups said insurers should be required by the government to continue coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, a part of the ACA provisions.

See the full survey here.