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Voters Say Health Care Good for Them, Bad in General

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Voters still give the health care they receive high marks but are more critical of the U.S. health care system than ever.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 29% of Likely U.S. Voters rate the U.S. health care system as good or excellent. This finding has been trending down from the low 40s in regular surveying since 2012. Little changed is the 31% who now rate the health care system as poor. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

But voters are much more generous when it comes to the health care they personally receive. Sixty-eight percent (68%) still rate that care as good or excellent, although that's down from an all-time high of 82% four years ago. Still, just eight percent (8%) rate the health care they receive as poor, consistent with findings since 2015. 

Forty-two percent (42%) of Republicans rate the U.S. health care system as good or excellent, compared to only 26% of Democrats and 20% of voters not affiliated with either major party. GOP voters also give higher ratings to the health care they personally receive.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 1 and 4, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.  

Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Americans rate their own personal health as good or excellent, in line with years of surveying, but 32% have postponed a medical procedure or checkup in the last six months in order to save money. Twenty percent (20%) have not filled a recent prescription for the same reason.

Criticism of the overall U.S. health care system is high in virtually every demographic category.

Voters 65 and older give the highest marks to both the U.S. health care system in general and the health care they personally receive.

The more one earns, the more positively they rate their own health care.

Those who give positive marks to their personal health care have a far more positive opinion of the health care system in general.

The cost of care has consistently in surveys over the years been the number one concern for most voters. By a two-to-one margin, voters still believe more free market competition between insurance companies would do more to reduce health care costs than more government regulations. Voters have long opposed Obamacare's requirement that every American must have health insurance, and Congress repealed that mandate in the tax reform bill passed in December.

But 48% favor a single-payer health care system where the federal government provides coverage for everyone. That’s a new high

As recently as last July, 74% of Americans said they had seen a doctor for a general physical exam in the last 12 months, and 46% of these adults said their doctor recommended lifestyle changes in the way they eat, drink or exercise. Eighty percent (80%) say they see a doctor on a regular basis

Yet while 54% say their personal health is about the same as it was five years ago, 47% report that they are paying more for health care than they were. 

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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