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Vermonters weigh in on single-payer health care in Castleton poll

Castleton ---singlepayer

In the Castleton Polling Institute's most recent general population poll, just over half of all Vermonters (52 percent) say they favor a single-payer health care system, where health care is publicly financed. A survey of registered voters in May 2012 (conducted by Castleton for a WCAX -WDEV - Vermont Business MagazinePoll) found that 48 percent of registered voters favored single-payer health care. The small difference in levels of support between these two polls suggests a lack of any significant change in attitudes over the past nine months.

Single-payer health care is strongest among Democrats (70 percent) and those age 18-34 (59 percent,) support is weakest among Republicans (21 percent.) The percentage of men that both favor a single-payer system (55 percent) and oppose a single-payer system (33 percent) is higher than that for women (50 percent and 27 percent, respectively) due to the fact that women are much more likely than men to be undecided on the issue (23 percent for women compared with 11 percent for men.)

More of the general public (43 percent) supports the idea of paying for a single-payer health care system through payroll taxes, while 36 percent oppose this notion, and another 21 percent are not sure. Again, support is higher among Democrats (53 percent) than among Republicans (21 percent), with 40 percent of those who identify as Independents supporting the idea.

While the economy still rates as the most important issue facing the state (say 33 percent of Vermonters,) health care is the top issue for 20 percent of residents, and it is the top concern for 27 percent of those age 55 and above. For those among whom health care is the most important issue, support for a single-payer system is only marginally higher than for those who think other issues are more important to the state.

Poll data is based on 620 completed interviews, 130 of which were respondents reached by cell phone. The interviews were conducted between Feb. 6-17. For a sample of this size, the margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level is +/-3.9 percent, although the margin of error is larger for questions involving subsamples of respondents. While sampling error is only one source of potential survey error, precautions have been taken to minimize other sources of error for this poll. The final data are weighted by age and gender to adjust for differences in response and to reflect the state's demographics on these criteria.

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