Public Opinion on Health Care Policy

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)

This content was originally published here.

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