Nearly 60% of Americans oppose making government-provided health insurance available to illegal immigrants, according to a CNN poll released Monday.
“Do you think health insurance coverage provided by the government should or should not be available to undocumented immigrants living in the United States?” reads a question in the poll, which was conducted by the polling firm SRSS on behalf of CNN between June 28 and June 30.
Of the 1,613 respondents, 59% said they oppose making government health insurance programs available to illegal immigrants. Thirty-eight percent supported it, while 3% expressed no opinion.
The question matches one asked in Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate. All 10 Democrats raised their hands when asked whether they support making government-directed health insurance available to illegal immigrants.
“A lot of you have been talking about government health care plans you proposed in one form or another. This is a show of hands question and hold them up so people can see. Raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants,” debate moderator Savannah Guthrie said.
Candidates like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would include illegal immigrants in a Medicare for All plan, which would replace private health insurance with a single-payer system.
South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg defended his support for granting illegal immigrants access to health insurance, saying “we do ourselves no favors by having 11 million undocumented people in our country be unable to access health care.”
“But, of course, the real problem is we shouldn’t have 11 million undocumented people with no pathway to citizenship,” he added.
Despite the unanimity at the debate, a sizable portion of Democratic voters said they oppose providing illegal immigrants access to government health insurance plans.
Sixty-six percent of Democrats in the CNN poll supported access, while 31% opposed the idea.
Thirty-four percent of independents and 10% of Republicans support access for illegal immigrants, while 63% and 88% oppose it, respectively.