Healthcare Affordability: Majority of Adults Support Significant Changes to the Health System

Bipartisan consensus exists on ideas to lower out-of-pocket costs.
A patient pays cash for services in a medical office.

This national survey of adults helps illuminate respondents’ experiences with healthcare costs, perceptions of who is to blame, appetite for change, and feelings about a range of policy reforms.

The Issue

Healthcare costs continue to rise putting access to high-quality health services out of reach for too many individuals and families, especially those with lower incomes who are disproportionately people of color.    

Key Findings

  • All of the policy ideas tested achieved a majority of support from a bipartisan group of respondents with several receiving 80 percent or more, including:

    - Put limits on what drug companies can charge for specific drugs that save lives or that millions of people use to treat life-long health conditions like diabetes. (89%)

    - Prevent drug companies from blocking cheaper generic drugs from being sold in the United States. (86%)

    - Put limits on the prices that hospitals can charge for services. (85%)

    - Allow the government to negotiate lower drug prices for employers and consumers. (84%)

    - Put limits on the prices that doctors can charge for services. (81%)

    - Eliminate health insurance deductibles and copayments so that people don't have to pay more to use their health insurance. (80%)

Conclusion

Now more than ever, there is widespread support for policies to lower healthcare costs as consumers continue to make sacrifices such as delaying or forgoing care. Those with lower incomes, who are disproportionately people of color, report feeling the strain of high healthcare costs more than others, illustrating that lowering costs can help advance health equity.

State Surveys

Blame for high healthcare costs is shared between government, prescription drug companies and health insurance companies. But when asked, respondents believe the government has the most responsibility to fix these rising costs.

Now more than ever, there is widespread support for policies to lower healthcare costs as consumers continue to make sacrifices such as delaying or forgoing care. Majorities express uncertainty about paying for usual healthcare services and aren’t very confident about paying for costs related to a major illness or injury. Respondents of color report feeling this strain more than others, illustrating that addressing healthcare affordability can help advance health equity.

Majorities in Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and New York are sacrificing care and facing financial hardship. Surveys conducted in these states help illuminate respondents’ experiences with healthcare costs; perceptions of who is to blame; and appetite for a range of policy reforms.

 

Webinar: Perceptions on Healthcare Affordability

Webinar: Perceptions on Healthcare Affordability

A doctor speaks to a patient.

Webinar: Perceptions on Healthcare Affordability

In November 2021, the Foundation hosted a webinar to present findings of a survey that illuminates respondents’ experiences with healthcare costs, perceptions of who is to blame, appetite for change, and feelings about a range of policy reforms.
In November 2021, the Foundation hosted a webinar to present findings of a survey that illuminates respondents’ experiences with healthcare costs, perceptions of who is to blame, appetite for change, and feelings about a range of policy reforms.

Webinar: Perceptions on Healthcare Affordability

In November 2021, the Foundation hosted a webinar to present findings of a survey that illuminates respondents’ experiences with healthcare costs, perceptions of who is to blame, appetite for change, and feelings about a range of policy reforms.