Trying to figure out why health care is such a hot topic on the presidential campaign trail, the New York Times has a new poll out, showing the renewed support for universal health care:
It’s not a wishy-washy question, since it actually asks if people would be willing to raise their taxes to have such a health system. The result:
The poll found Americans across party lines willing to make some sacrifice to ensure that every American has access to health insurance. Sixty percent, including 62 percent of independents and 46 percent of Republicans, said they would be willing to pay more in taxes. Half said they would be willing to pay as much as $500 a year more.
Nearly 8 in 10 said they thought it was more important to provide universal access to health insurance than to extend the tax cuts of recent years; 18 percent said the tax cuts were more important.
Among domestic issues, health care is listed by a majority of respondents (55%) as a top priority for the President and Congress to concentrate on right now, beating immigration, values, and other issues.
Several months ago, I was fielding questions from reporters about a PPIC poll that listed health care in the low single digits, asking why people didn’t care about health care. I knew that for whatever reason, that poll was an aberration: health care is often in the top tier of issues, along with education and the economy. But this result is much stronger than what I have typically seen in the past. The momentum builds!