Widespread support for government-run health plan

Today’s New York Times reports on a poll it conducted with CBS News on support for government-run health insurance plan — something akin to Medicare for those aged 65 years or younger. The national telephone survey found that 72% of those polled support such a plan. The survey revealed that the majority of people would be willing to pay higher taxes in order to provide health insurance for everyone.

Although the poll did not ask whether people support a single-payer health care system (in which only a government-run health insurance plan would be in effect), it clearly shows widespread support to the idea that the federal government would do a better job running the health care system than private industry. As one poll respondent said in a follow-up interview, “Even though [clinical services] might not be quite as good as what we get now,” he said, “I think the government should run health care. Far too many people are being denied now, and costs would be lower.”

African Americans and Latinos are disproportionately represented in the ranks of the underinsured and uninsured. This fact leads to huge barriers blocking access to needed health care and the resulting health inequities that plague these communities.  A national health insurance plan administered by the federal government, therefore, would help reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.

Sunday, June 21st, 2009 at 14:34