LendEDU looked to gauge where the preferences of the American public lay by pitting these two issues against each other. We asked 1,000 adult, voting-eligible Americans if they would prefer complete student loan forgiveness or free health care for all.

Respondents were then asked if they would rather their hypothetical future children or current children have access to free four-year college or free health care.

Full survey results

The following two questions were asked to 1,000 adult Americans with some amount of student loan debt. The survey was conducted online through research firm Pollfish.

(1) Would you rather have the United States’ $1.61 trillion in outstanding student loan debt be completely forgiven or have a free health care for all policy be implemented in the U.S.?

  • 40% of respondents answered “Outstanding student loan debt be completely forgiven.”
  • 60% of respondents answered “Free health care for all policy be implemented in the U.S.”

(2) For your hypothetical future (or current) children, would you rather them have access to free four-year college or free health care?

  • 42% of respondents answered “Free four-year college.”
  • 58% of respondents answered “Free health care.”

Observations and analysis

Although it was a close call, free health care for all preferred over complete student loan forgiveness

Despite poll participants owing some amount of student loan debt, 60% still indicated they would rather see a free universal health care policy be enacted instead of full student loan debt forgiveness, which was chosen by 40%.