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Press Release, Research

United States of Care Releases New Polling on People’s Priorities for Health Care

Published On September 17, 2021

Cost Remains Biggest Health Care Concern for 7 in 10 People

Washington, DC — United States of Care (USofCare) today released public opinion research that found cost remains the top health care concern for Americans. Seven-in-ten voters — spanning the ideological, geographic and demographic spectrum — selected cost as the single biggest issue facing the health care system today. These findings may help inform discussions of health care proposals among members of Congress and the Biden Administration, including on the budget reconciliation bill where many of these items are already being discussed.

“Right now people worry that if they get sick they will go bankrupt, which is a heartbreaking and sad reality for far too many people in the United States,” said Natalie Davis, Chief Executive Office of United States of Care. “Thankfully, there is overwhelming agreement on targeted changes we can make to reduce health care costs and ease these fears. United States of Care looks forward to working with state and federal leaders to make commonsense improvements to bring people peace of mind and a better health care experience.”

This quantitative research is the result of over two years of USofCare individual and focus group conversations, which focus on hearing directly from people. This poll aimed to test key themes and solutions with a nationwide representative sample. The survey included an oversampling of people of color, rural voters, and those with lower incomes.

The research released today finds overwhelming support for USofCare’s vision for our future health care system. That vision includes building certainty that people can afford health care, giving people security in coverage through life’s changes, access to personalized care, and supporting a system that is easy to navigate. Nearly every voter agreed (90 percent agree, 54 percent strongly) that those four priorities are the right goals for the health care system.

Some of the most popular solutions to achieve these goals include:

  • Bringing down prescription costs by allowing government price negotiation or increased competition (86 percent support overall, including 84 percent of people of color, 86 percent of rural and 83 percent of low-income voters);
  • Tax credits for Americans to seek affordable insurance if their employer insurance plan doesn’t fit their needs or budget (78 percent support overall, including 80 percent of people of color and 77 percent of rural and low-income and voters);  
  • Expanding eligibility for public programs including Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (73 percent of voters support overall, including 82 percent of people of color, 71 percent of rural and 78 percent of low-income voters);
  • Making it easier to support caregivers providing long-term care at home (90 percent support overall, including 89 percent of people of color and 91 percent of rural and low-income voters);
  • Expanding access to mental health care and ensuring that mental health services are covered the same as physical care (89 percent support overall, including 90 percent of people of color, 85 percent of rural and 87 percent of low-income voters); 
  • Increasing transparency on prescription drug pricing (91 percent support overall, including 89 percent of people of color, 91 percent of rural and 86 percent of low-income voters); and 
  • Increasing health care patient navigators and care coordinators (82 percent support overall, including 83 percent of people of color, 85 percent of rural and 84 percent of low-income voters).

Proposals tested in the qualitative survey were informed by more than two years of research, which included four online focus groups conducted earlier this year. Focus groups included four audiences: Black people, people with lower incomes, people with insurance they are satisfied with, and Republican voters.

USofCare is committed to centering people’s needs in all its work, which is why it continues to dedicate significant resources to quantitative and qualitative public opinion research. In the coming months, USofCare will share further research and recommendations for state and federal policymakers.