Americans Split Over Socialized Medicine

Thursday, February 14th, 2008
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

During the course of the presidential nomination campaign, some candidates’ healthcare plans have been described as “socialized medicine.” Historically, the phrase socialized medicine has been used to attack health reform proposals in the U.S. However, a new poll by the Harvard Opinion Research Program at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Harris Interactive finds that Americans are split on whether a socialized medical system would be better or worse than the current system.

Seventy percent of Republicans say that socialized medicine would be worse than our current system. The same percentage of Democrats (70 percent) say that a socialized medical system would be better than our current system. Independents are more evenly split with 43 percent saying socialized medicine would be better and 38 percent worse.

The uninsured do not view socialized medicine as negatively as those who have health insurance. Only 19 percent of the uninsured think that a socialized medicine system would be worse than our current system while 57 percent think it would be better. Those who currently have health insurance are divided on whether socialized medicine would be better (44 percent) or worse (41 percent).

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