Public Opinion on Health Care Policy

Report Health Care Reform

Public Opinion on Health Care Policy

April 23, 2019 2 min read Download Report

Key Takeaways

Health care remains a top priority for Americans (69 percent of U.S. voters), who are concerned about cost, access, and choice.

Many current health care proposals shift control and decision-making to the government—and do not provide what Americans want.

Americans support plans that lower costs, give them access to high quality of care, and put them in the driver’s seat.

Health care remains a top priority for Americans (69 percent of U.S. voters),REF who are concerned about cost, accessREF and choice.REF

Many current health care proposals shift control and decision-making to the government—and do not provide what Americans want.

  • A majority of Americans oppose a plan that would, under a Medicare for All health care system, decrease access, increase costs, and decrease choices by:REF
  • Creating “[l]onger wait times to receive health care treatment” (82 percent)
  • Imposing “[m]andatory waiting periods for care” (79 percent)
  • Providing “[f]ewer options for health care providers…and treatments” (76 percent)
  • “Elimin[ating] Medicare” (75 percent)
  • “Increasing taxes” (69 percent)
  • “Elimin[ating] Medicaid” (68 percent)
  • “Elimin[ating] private insurance” (62 percent)

Public opinion is in flux, and malleable based on how the debate is framed.

  • According to pollster Dr. Whit Ayres, founder and president of the North Star Opinion Research Corporation: “The numbers that you are going to see…are not in any way cut in stone. They are just a starting point for talking about health care, and they will move all over the place depending on which side is more persuasive in getting its points across. … [If those] in Congress leave the field without concrete health policy alternatives, forfeiting that game only hands victory to those who are campaigning for a single-payer plan.”REF

Americans support plans that lower costs, give them access to high quality of care, and put them in the driver’s seat.REF Americans agree:

  • America’s health care system should be the best in the world. It should offer lower costs and higher-quality care than it does today. (97 percent)
  • Health care policy should empower people—not government bureaucrats or insurance companies—to make decisions for their themselves and their own families. (94 percent)

Almost all Americans are likely to support a health care plan that increases access, lowers costs, and improves choice. They want a plan that will:

  • “Encourage health care innovations and options” (96 percent)
  • “Use proven tools to help people with pre-existing conditions get care without raising costs for other Americans” (96 percent)
  • “Lower health insurance premiums for individuals by as much as 32 percent” (94 percent)
  • “Allow more people access to personalized private coverage over government-run health programs like Medicare” (85 percent)

Health Care Poll

Authors

Elizabeth Fender
Elizabeth Fender

Director, Marketing

Marie Fishpaw
Marie Fishpaw

Director, Domestic Policy Studies