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Single-Payer Healthcare: No Major Shifts In Public Opinion Amidst The Pandemic

United States healthcare professionals continue to evaluate the various ways of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. One of these methods is implementing single-payer healthcare, where the federal government would fund healthcare providers. This would allow patients to access healthcare services without out of pocket costs, as taxes help fund healthcare services. As the CDC notes, almost 30.1 million individuals under the age of 65 are uninsured in the US. A change in our healthcare system may be desperately needed… But what does the American public think of this?

Assessment of American Citizens

Before the pandemic, the majority of American voters have expressed that healthcare and the economy are their two major concerns. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, this proportion has remained rather unchanged, with more than 60% of American voters expressing likewise concerns. This means that those offering unconventional healthcare solutions should keep the American public’s concerns in mind as they seek the proper response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ongoing Party Split

While the majority of citizens seem amicable to the notion of a single-payer system, the proportions of supporters and opposers do break down almost cleanly across partisan lines, with 3 out of 4 registered Democrats being in favor, and 3 out of 4 registered Republicans expressing opposition. The remaining quarter on each side reports either having a contrasting view to their party line or simply indifference. It seems that the COVID-19 crisis has not fractured the party line allegiances quite as much as some experts had forecasted, which could result in rising tensions due to the urgency of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bridging the Gap

The crisis has brought an openness across party lines toward financial aid plans for businesses and individuals. However, the surveyed individuals did not seem to be as open to single-payer healthcare if it required an increase in taxes. Despite the data showing this dwindling support, many commentators believe that this negative influence is due to communication aspects, such as confusion, negativity bias, lack of clarity on proposed plans, among other factors.