2-24-13 – Polls Show Collapse in Support for Single Payer

The National Education Association (NEA) just paid for a poll on single payer healthcare in Vermont. It is being spun as, as one prominent headline touts, “Poll Shows Support for Single Payer.” However, no rational, honest person could come to this conclusion. What the data actually shows is a collapse in support for single payer.

Asked, “Are you inclined to favor or oppose a single payer system for Vermont, or do you feel you don’t know enough about it to have a firm opinion, “ Vermonters registered 24% approval for single payer, 25% were opposed, and 51% said they were not sure.

However, a year ago in February 2013, Castleton Polling Institute asked a similar question, “Do you favor or oppose a single-payer health care system for Vermont, where health care is publicly financed?” At that time, 52% of Vermonters supported single payer, 30% were opposed, and 17% were not sure.

What the two data sets show is that over the past twelve months, support for single payer healthcare in Vermont has plummeted from 52% to 24%. That is a dramatic collapse.

Though some of the shift from support/opposition to “not sure” can be attributed to additional language in the VTNEA question of, “or do you feel you don’t know enough about it to have a firm opinion,” which provides an easy off ramp, the shift from “support” to “not sure” (28 points or 54%) was far more dramatic than that of “oppose” to “not sure” (5 points or 16%).

It appears that the NEA’s decision to drop $80,000 into Vermont to support single payer healthcare is one born of panic.

– Rob Roper, president of the Ethan Allen Institute

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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.
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