Poll: Less than half of Americans think U.S. health care is handled well

Care for older adults is poorly rated by vast majority

A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that the general public is not very satisfied with health care in the U.S., with fewer than half of those surveys saying it is generally handled well. Only 12% rate it as handled extremely or very well.

Care for older adults ranks even lower. Looking at prescription drug costs, nursing home care quality, and mental health, only 6% at most ranked those services as done very well.

Care access is a major concern, with nearly 80% of those surveyed indicating they are at least moderately concerned about getting access to quality health care when they need it. Minority patients express great concern about health care access, with six in 10 saying they are very or extremely concerned about getting good care, compared to less than half (44%) of Whites. Women (53%) are more concerned than men (42%) on the same issue.

Despite agreement on the health system needing improvement, those surveyed differ on what the solutions are. About two-thirds say it is the federal government’s responsibility for health care coverage, with adults under 50 more likely than those over to hold that view. The overall percentage of people who believe health care is a government responsibility has increased from 62% in 2017.

When it comes to single-payer health that would require Americans to get their health insurance from the government, support comes in around four in 10, while 58% favor a government health insurance plan that anyone can purchase. There is also broad support for assistance paying for long-term care.

Drug prices are always an area of concern, and 80% of those surveyed said they support the federal government negotiating the price of prescription drugs for programs like Medicare.