Summary Memo on National Poll Findings of Public Opinion on U.S. Healthcare System

TO: Interested Parties

FR: Michael Ramlet and Kyle Dropp

DT: Tuesday, June 11, 2013

RE: National Poll Findings of Public Opinion on U.S. Healthcare System                                                               

Despite concerns about increasing healthcare costs and significant philosophical differences among voters on the proper role that government should play in the healthcare sector, Americans are broadly satisfied with their current health care plans, according to a new bipartisan national poll conducted by The Morning Consult from May 22 to May 26, 2013.

The bipartisan poll included a national sample of 1,000 likely voters and was completed by Republican pollster John McLaughlin of McLaughlin & Associates and Democratic pollster Margie Omero of Momentum Analysis.

Today, we will discuss the findings of public opinion on the U.S. healthcare system, tomorrow we will analyze public opinion on the Affordable Care Act and Thursday we will examine public opinion on a series of healthcare and tax reform proposals.

Additional poll materials can be found online:

Healthcare Costs, Value and Access:

Americans are broadly satisfied with their current access to doctors and medical professionals, the value of the medical care they receive and the cost of their healthcare plans. More than eight in 10 are very or somewhat satisfied with their access to doctors and medical professionals and 52 percent are very satisfied. These elevated levels hold across party affiliation, gender and race.

TMC1

Similarly, 76 percent of Americans are satisfied with the value of the medical care they receive. Only 9 percent are very dissatisfied.  Satisfaction increases for seniors, with than nine in 10 reporting they are satisfied with the value of their care.

TMC2

Americans view healthcare costs as the most important issue facing the healthcare industry, and only 60 percent are satisfied with the cost of their current health insurance. Individuals who purchase insurance on their own are particularly dissatisfied with the costs.

TMC3

Uninsured Americans do not share these largely positive views of the healthcare system. Four in 10 uninsured respondents are very dissatisfied with the cost of coverage, four in 10 are dissatisfied with the value they receive for coverage and more than four in 10 are dissatisfied with their access to medical coverage.

Healthcare Right vs. Responsibility:

Forty-seven percent of adults say citizens should be primarily responsible for providing themselves with healthcare, compared with 43 percent who say healthcare is a right guaranteed to all citizens. Public opinion on this question mirrors societal divisions on the size and scope of government more broadly. More than seven in 10 liberals and Democrats, and six in 10 young adults, say healthcare is a fundamental right. On the other hand, nearly eight in 10 Republicans and conservatives say citizens are responsible for providing themselves with healthcare. There is a key gender gap, with females approximately 20 percentage points more likely to say healthcare is a right than males.

TMC4

Biggest Problem in U.S. Healthcare:

By wide margins, Americans say the biggest problem facing healthcare today is that premiums and medical costs have become too expensive. Fifty-eight percent say costs represent the biggest problem in healthcare today, whereas 17 percent say the biggest problem is that too many are uninsured, 11 percent say the care is not worth the price patients are paying and 5 percent say it is hard to access quality doctors and medical personnel.

TMC5

 

Nearly half of Americans say insurance companies are most responsible for the cost of healthcare. Far fewer blame drug companies (12 percent), hospitals (10 percent), individual consumers (9 percent) or doctors (4  percent).

TMC6

 

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