Contrary to Sen. Sanders (I-Vt.) and company, most Americans—when considering higher costs and even more government spending—are not on board with the idea of single-payer healthcare.
This past July, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a poll that showed 53% of Americans in favor of government-run healthcare. However, this number shrunk to 40% when those polled were informed that many citizens would pay higher taxes under such a proposal.
An Associated Press fact-check cites a few other polls that echo this melody: when faced with the question of who signs the check, Americans are much more cautious about embracing single-payer:
“People were about evenly divided in an AP-NORC Center survey in January, 39 percent against having everyone get their health insurance from one government plan and 38 percent in favor. Support dropped substantially when the prospect of a large increase in federal spending was introduced. . . .
“The Pew Research Center in June found 60 percent who believe the federal government is responsible for ensuring health care coverage for all Americans, with 39 percent disagreeing. That supports Sanders’ contention that people want health care as a right. But ensuring coverage is not the same as paying for it. Support for a single-payer system registered at only 33 percent in that poll. Many of those who felt the government has a responsibility for making sure people have coverage instead supported a mix of public and private programs.”
Sen. Sanders’ home state of Vermont also attempted to implement a single-payer program, but called it quits in 2014 after heavy tax increases proved an unpalatable proposition.