The billionaire Koch brothers, massive funders of all manner of right-wing candidates and organizations, who are totally against any government regulations that hinder their ability to make money (especially environmental and climate change measures), conducted a survey to measure public opinion on various issues and, would you know it, while the public agreed with them on vague general principles such as “the right to personal property is key to a free and just society”, on practical matters the public seems to be in favor of the very things they hate.
For instance, the poll found that 66 percent of Americans would find “government-paid college tuition” as a “very effective” or “somewhat effective solution” to social barriers, with more than half of those lining up on the “very effective” side.
A $15 minimum wage was almost as popular in the poll, with 35 percent saying it would be a very effective solution and a further 30 percent saying it would be a somewhat effective solution.
A third of respondents believe that more regulation of Wall Street would be very effective, while 36 percent said it would be somewhat effective. Nearly seven in 10 respondents said increasing government assistance for child care would be a very or somewhat effective policy response to social barriers.
The top concern of those polled is the growing cost of health care, with 92 percent saying it is a problem. A combined 55 percent said a government-run health care system would be a very or somewhat effective policy response.
These results are consistent with other surveys that show increasing support for many of the issues that Bernie Sanders and other progressives have championed and are now being embraced, if somewhat reluctantly, by the Democratic party establishment.
Meanwhile, it appears that even the next generation of doctors are going against their elders and are in favor of single-payer health care too.
When the American Medical Association — one of the nation’s most powerful health care groups — met in Chicago this June, its medical student caucus seized an opportunity for change.
Though they had tried for years to advance a resolution calling on the organization to drop its decades-long opposition to single-payer health care, this was the first time it got a full hearing. The debate grew heated — older physicians warned their pay would decrease, calling younger advocates naïve to single-payer’s consequences. But this time, by the meeting’s end, the AMA’s older members had agreed to at least study the possibility of changing its stance.
“We believe health care is a human right, maybe more so than past generations,” said Dr. Brad Zehr, a 29-year-old pathology resident at Ohio State University, who was part of the debate. “There’s a generational shift happening, where we see universal health care as a requirement.”
Single payer is coming. The only question is when, and how much the lobbies for the health insurance, hospitals, and drug industries are willing to fight to retain the current wasteful and cruel system. The fight will get ugly.