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Patients want federal prescription for high costs in the U.S. health care system

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Poll measures political barriers to price reforms and policy solutions that could help.

This election season, many Americans believe the federal government could have the prescription for high costs ailing patients in the U.S. health care system.

Earlier this month, the 2022 West Health-Gallup Healthcare in America Report was published with a D- grade for health care affordability. Heading into the November 2022 midterm elections, 39% of respondents said they were very likely or somewhat likely to vote for a candidate from a political party they don’t typically support if that candidate’s top priority was reducing health care costs.

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The good news is that the poll and its respondents did not blame America’s primary care physicians for “a trifecta of crises: prohibitively expensive health care, a once-in-a-century pandemic and one of the worst inflationary environments in the last 40 years,” according to the West Health-Gallup report.

But there is plenty of blame to go around. The poll inquired about six potential barriers to actions that could reduce cost of care, and a majority of respondents identified four of them as major barriers.

Meanwhile, solid majorities of all voters supported strong federal government powers to bring down prices.

Here’s a look at six barriers and the percentages of respondents who said they are major barriers. After that are five proposed solutions and the percentages of respondents who strongly agree or somewhat agree with them.

The figures are percentages of respondents in total and by Democratic, independent, and Republican voters. The survey took place in June 2022 with 5,584 adults from 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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