Most U.S. adults (56%) say health care in general in the U.S. is handled poorly, according to an AP-NORC report published September 12.

Of this total, 35% said health care is handled “not too well” and 21% “not at all well.” By comparison, 32% said it is handled “somewhat well,” 10% “very well” and 2% “extremely well.”

Specific aspects of the U.S. health care system received similar negative reviews:

  • Health care for older adults: 54% not too well / not at all well; 34% somewhat well; 11% extremely / very well.
  • Prescription medication costs: 74% not too well / not at all well; 19% somewhat well; 6% extremely / very well.
  • Mental health care: 70% not too well / not at all well; 23% somewhat well; 5% extremely / very well.

Two-out-of-three adults (66%) say the federal government has a responsibility “to make sure that all Americans have health care coverage,” which is a nine-point increase since April 2019 and up 14 points from March 2017.

A similar majority (62%) affirm that “Americans should pay less for their health care, even if it means paying more in taxes” – up from 57% in May 2020.

When presented with several possible reform options involving federal government intervention, a majority strongly / somewhat favored three of the four:

  • Negotiating lower prescription drug prices: 80%
  • Covering the cost of care for telehealth programs: 68%
  • Government health insurance plan: 58%
  • Single-payer health system: 43%

There is also widespread support for expanding Medicare and Medicaid coverage by expanding services and benefits, as well as providing tax breaks related to long-term care expenses.

The topline results, noting a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points, are available here.

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