- The Washington Times - Friday, April 13, 2018

Just over half of U.S. adults back single-payer health care, according to a poll released Friday that says the idea of government-run health care is still a partisan issue but finds favor with enough independents to produce a slim majority of public support.

All told, 51 percent of adults support the idea and 43 percent oppose it, The Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll found.

Health care was a leading political issue during the past year, as liberal groups took to the streets to beat back President Trump’s to repeal and replace Obamacare.

The poll said 61 percent of people who described themselves as a “rallygoer” would like to go beyond the 2010 Affordable Care Act and see a national health care plan that covers everyone.

Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent, is pushing a “Medicare for all” single-payer bill that’s been cosponsored by more than a dozen Senate Democrats, including party frontrunners for the 2020 presidential nomination.

Other Democrats want to pass more limited fixes to Obamacare or incrementally expand the range of taxpayer funded options, such as allowing people to buy into Medicare or Medicaid.

About three in four Democrats — 74 percent — told The Washington Post-Kaiser they support a single-payer plan.

The single-payer idea isn’t going anywhere while Republicans control the levers of power in D.C., however, and Mr. Trump is finding ways to chip away at Obamacare or attach work requirements to taxpayer-funded Medicaid benefits for the poor.

Eight in 10 Republicans told pollsters they oppose single-payer health care.

Independents were the difference-maker, with 54 percent supporting the plan and 40 percent opposing.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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