Gallup has released a new poll reporting American’s opinions about their health care and health care costs. Four out of five adults rate the quality of their health care as good or excellent and 69% say their health care coverage is good (39%) or excellent (30%).
The numbers show a sharp division in public opinion concerning the quality of care in the U.S. and health care coverage. While the quality of care rates high generally–56% say it’s good or excellent–opinions show people believe there is an access problem, only 32% rate health care coverage as good or excellent. Even so, only 21% characterize the health care system as being in a “state of crisis.”
However, people do believe there are problems, 52% describe the problems as “major” with the system. It would be easy to project onto the this figure a particular angle or spin but reasons for these problems could be several. Consumers are certainly frustrated by the cost of care, Gallup reports 74% are dissatisfied with the cost of the county’s health care. Or, it’s possible that people are troubled by the perceived problems with access or coverage, referring back to the 32% who find that generally, health care coverage is at good or excellent levels.
It’s clear from the numbers that people are satisfied with their own situation but believe that other people are getting a raw deal. Not only, as I mentioned above, is there are notable difference in opinion about their own coverage (69% good or excellent) compared to general coverage (32% good or excellent) but we find the same difference related to the cost of health care. Thirty-eight percent say they are personally dissatisfied with the cost of their care, but 74% are dissatisfied generally with the cost of health care.
Such difference could be result of a campaign to persuade people that there is a nationwide health care problem, although one that personally does not affect them. The census bureau reports that in 2012, 85% had health insurance and that number does not indicate what percentage of the 15% uninsured are voluntarily uncovered. Nevertheless, there is a belief that there is a coverage problem for other people.
A majority do not think the responsibility to fix these problems belongs to the federal government, more than half (56%) say so. And consistent with this, is the finding that 61% would prefer a system based on private insurance rather than turn healthcare over to the federal government (34%.)