President Barack Obama promised Americans a much-improved healthcare system after the majority Democrat Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, aka Obamacare. But instead, health insurance premiums have skyrocketed, deductibles have soared, and attempts to repeal or replace the government-run marketplace have thus far failed.
A Gallup poll released on Monday shows that 70 percent of poll respondents believe the U.S. health care system is “in a state of crisis” or having “major problems.”
“This is consistent with the 65 percent to 73 percent range for this figure in all, but one poll since Gallup first asked the question in 1994,” Gallup reported.
The exception was a poll taken after the terror attacks in New York, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.
“In that one poll — 49% of Americans said the U.S. healthcare system had major problems or was in crisis,” Gallup reported. “This was because of Americans’ heightened concerns about terrorism after the attacks, which temporarily altered their views and behaviors on a variety of issues.”
Survey results based on party affiliation are also noteworthy in the poll: “Six out of seven Democrats rate the health care system negatively.”
Gallup noted that while the negative view of American healthcare has remained relatively flat across the board, differences between parties exist.
From 2001 to 2009, Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents were considerably more likely than Republicans and Republican-leaning independents to say healthcare had major problems or was in crisis. Democrats’ negative assessments then decreased in the rest of President Barack Obama’s first term, after passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, at the same time that Republicans’ concerns mounted. By 2012, the lines crossed, so that during most of Obama’s second term,
Republicans were significantly more likely than Democrats to perceive significant or critical problems in the healthcare system.
Now, with Republican President Donald Trump in office, partisan views have flipped again, with Democrats more likely to be concerned.
The difference between the two major parties on this measure was just five percentage points in 2017, Trump’s first year, when 76 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of Republicans said healthcare had major problems or was in crisis. This expanded to a 28-point gap in 2018, when 84% of Democrats and 56% of Republicans expressed these views — the largest partisan gap on this measure in Gallup’s trend since 2001.
The survey, conducted after the 2018 midterm elections, revealed that cost and access to healthcare are of most concern among Americans.
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