Offering daily news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Washingtonians strongly support Medicare For All and oppose Trumpcare, NPI poll finds

A new poll commissioned by NPI has found that voters in Washington State are overwhelmingly opposed to the U.S. House’s version of Trumpcare while resoundingly supportive of the idea of expanding Medicare to cover everyone.

In our latest statewide public opinion research survey, we asked respondents how they felt about plans by federal Republicans to abolish or sabotage the Patient Protection Act, and whether they support expanding Medicare to provide universal health coverage for all Americans. The answers that came back were profound.

First: By a nearly two to one margin, respondents said they preferred the Patient Protection Act to the legislation voted out of the House by Paul Ryan’s caucus.

We asked:

What would you rather have in place: the current Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or the new American Health Care Act passed last month by the U.S. House?

These were the answers:

  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: 56%
  • American Health Care Act: 29%
  • Not sure: 16%

This finding shows that Washingtonians strongly support the Patient Protection Act and want to keep it, which is (appropriately) what Governor Jay Inslee and Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler have been lobbying Congress to do.

Most of the members of Washington’s congressional delegation voted against the bill that passed out of the House to sabotage the Patient Protection Act a few weeks ago, although Republican Dave Reichert shamefully waited to weigh in against the bill and commit to voting no until he knew his vote was not needed.

Senate Republicans have recently been struggling to cobble together their own version of Trumpcare. Mitch McConnell has so far been unable to craft legislation that has the support of fifty of his members (he’s not even bothering to engage with Senate Democrats at this juncture) so senators are going home for the Independence Day holiday recess without having voted on anything.

We’ve seen a surge of much-needed grassroots activism against Republicans’ efforts to take away the healthcare of millions of Americans by gutting the Patient Protection Act. That activism is not only giving Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan serious heartburn, it’s helping to solidify public opinion against their evil schemes.

Second: We wanted to know how Washingtonians feel about building on the Patient Protection Act (as opposed to sabotaging it) and expanding Medicare to cover all Americans. So we asked:

Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose expanding Medicare to provide universal health coverage to all Americans?

These were the answers:

  • Support: 64%
    • Strongly support: 50%
    • Somewhat support: 14%
  • Oppose: 32%
    • Somewhat oppose: 9%
    • Strongly oppose: 23%
  • Not sure: 4%

By a remarkable two-to-one margin, respondents to our poll say that we should expand Medicare so that it covers everybody. What really impressed us was that half of all respondents to the poll put themselves in the “strongly support” category. There is a lot of enthusiasm in Washington for universal healthcare.

Democratic candidates who want to be successful in 2017, 2018, and beyond would be well served to embrace this finding and make healthcare for all a major facet of their campaigns. Healthcare is a human right, and this research shows a majority of the public wants to see our laws changed to ensure that everyone is covered.

Most of the developed countries in the world have figured out how to provide universal coverage to their people. We haven’t. We need to change that.

The status quo isn’t good enough. The Patient Protection Act was a step forward, but we need to take another step. Freedom doesn’t stand still. We must focus our public discourse on the idea of expanding health freedom, as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have proposed, as opposed to contracting it.

Our survey of 887 likely 2018 Washington State voters was in the field from June 27th-28th, 2017; all respondents participated via landline. The poll, conducted by respected firm Public Policy Polling on behalf of the Northwest Progressive Institute, has a margin of error of +/- 3.3% at the 95% confidence level.