Results from the Castleton Polling Institute’s latest survey show that Vermonters are torn on whether the state should proceed with a publicly financed, single payer health care system.
According to the poll of 617 Vermonters from a range of ages, income brackets and regions of the state: 52 percent are in favor of a single payer system, while 30 percent oppose it and 17 percent are unsure. That is a slight increase from the 48 percent who supported single payer in a 2012 study that Castleton conducted with local media outlets on the same issue.
Fewer participants, however, were in favor of funding health care using payroll taxes. The results show that 43 percent of those polled are for using payroll taxes, 36 percent are against the proposal and 21 percent are unsure.
The single payer survey, which was released on Wednesday, polled from the same group of Vermonters as the Castleton wind power study that was published the day prior.
The surveys were conducted by phone using a random dialing method to sample from residential landlines and cell phones with 802 area codes, said professor Rich Clark, who directs the polling institute.
The sample, he said, grabbed from the general population — rather than a registered voter list, as the 2012 poll on wind and single payer did.
In addition to the aforementioned surveys, Castleton also asked participants: “What do you think is the most important issue facing the state of Vermont today?”
The economy was the leading vote-getter with 33 percent, then health care with 19 percent, followed by education with 15 percent and taxes with 13 percent.