New Oregon poll finds most would be willing to pay for a universal health care system

Poll: Oregon Voter Support for a Healthcare Tax to Fund Universal Care

A new state wide poll shows that a majority of Oregon voters would consider paying a new health care tax more than twice as large as their Oregon income tax to replace health care premiums and other health care expenses.

The poll is likely to turn a few heads, not only in Oregon, but nationally, as previous polls have shown high support for specific forms of universal health care such as single-payer or Medicare-for-All, but with low voter willingness to support those programs financially.

Oregon voters in this poll were motivated for change by the increasingly high cost and other problems of the current health care system.

  • 81% identified the cost of health care to individuals, governments, and businesses as a major problem, “This is about as unified an opinion, across party lines and other demographic categories, as you will ever see in America,” remarks Corvallis resident and retired management consultant Warren George, who commissioned the poll along with support from Ron Loe of Wood Castle Furniture.

  • 70% of voters also identified other concerns such as medical bankruptcy and unnecessary system complexity as major problems, and...

  • More than half believed that as costs continue to rise, Medicare and Medicaid programs are in major jeopardy.

Key findings:

  • 75% of Oregon voters believe that universal care is a desirable solution to the high cost and other problems, but unlike previous national polls, Oregon voters were significantly more willing to express support for a tax to provide public health care benefits

  • .The poll indicates that this support stems in part from a majority of Oregon voters inclined to believe claims that a universal care system will save money relative to the cost of premiums and other health care expenses which the tax would replace.

  • 62% of Oregon voters would probably or definitely vote for a separate health care tax to provide care for everyone in the state, as long as the tax is typically smaller than what they currently pay in premiums and out of pocket expenses, and as long as employers keep contributing about the same portion of employee cost as they do now. This majority opinion held across all five congressional districts, and held in both republican and democrat represented districts of the Oregon legislature

Click here to see more about this poll, including a link to download complete polling results.


Medicare is mosly administered by private companies

Even traditional Medicare is mostly administered by private companies, including all of the large for-profit health insurance companies. Medicare for All will not necessarily change this - the government may still choose to contract with private companies for much of the administrative work. But there will be less of this administrative work with a decently designed publicly financed system than with the fractured, multiple risk pool system we have now. See Private sector vs. Medicare? It's basically the same thing .

While it is not “basically the same thing", since it matters who makes the rules, how much profit is allowed for simply bearing risk, and how many different risk pools are allowed (one is the number improved Medicare for All advocates want), the article is correct that there may still be plenty of contract work for insurance companies after we implement improved Medicare for All.