July 5, 2017
The majority of Americans—60%—believe it’s the federal government’s responsibility to make sure everyone has healthcare coverage, according to a new national survey by Pew Research Center. This marks the highest percentage in nearly a decade. Four years ago, just 42% of Americans said Uncle Sam should ensure healthcare coverage for everyone.
Even Americans who don’t think the federal government should be responsible for healthcare coverage still say programs like Medicare and Medicaid should be continued. Just 5% of Americans support the cessation of these programs.
Unsurprisingly, political leanings and age differentiate American attitudes about healthcare coverage. For example, 29% of Republicans say the federal government should be responsible for ensuring healthcare coverage for all Americans, compared to 83% of Democrats. Similarly, 67% of adults under the age of 30 say the government has a responsibility to provide health coverage for all, versus 54% of adults 65 and older.
Of those who point to the government to provide healthcare coverage for all Americans, a greater number think it should be done through a single healthcare insurance system run by the government. Currently, 33% of the public prefers the “single payer” approach, rather a mix of private companies and government programs, an increase of 12% compared to 2014.
According to the survey, Democrats—particularly liberal Democrats—are far more supportive of the “single payer” concept, as are younger adults. More than 60% of Americans who describe themselves as liberal Democrats favor a single national healthcare program, and 45% of adults age 30 and younger feel the same.
For questions, comments or concerns, please contact Jennifer Duell Popovec