NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Washingtonians strongly support Medicare For All and oppose Trumpcuts, 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 Trump­cuts 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 Trump­cuts. 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.

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One Comment

  1. Nice to read some good news for a change… the peo­ple are ready for uni­ver­sal health­care, even if our elect­ed lead­ers are not!

    # by Darrin Watkin :: July 21st, 2017 at 6:22 PM
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