American Doubts about Health Care

American Doubts about Health Care

American Doubts about Health Care

It’s not surprising that some Americans would have increased doubt about the US health care system since early 2020.

Of course, the pandemic was not caused by the US health care system, but with over one million deaths attributed to COVID so far, the health care system was not likely to escape a share of the blame. But that said, what is most striking about the attitudes of Americans toward the US health care system is not their more recent doubts, but rather the steadiness of their doubts during the last two decades, according to results from just-released Gallup polling (January 19, 2023).

For example, this measure suggests that only about one-third of Americans think the US health care system has minor or no problems–and that percentage hasn’t varied much in the last 20 years. Consider for a moment all the changes in the US healthcare system in the last 20 years, including the passage and enacting of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010. In these longer term pattern of satisfaction with the overall US health care system, none of these changes seem to have had a major positive or negative effect on how Americans see health care.

Perhaps the most interesting pattern in these survey results is that while about 60-65% of the over-55 age group view US health care quality as “excellent” or “good,” while the the satisfaction of younger health care groups with the quality of US health care seems has been diminishing for the last decade or so. Unless the opinions of younger Americans about US health care undergo a substantial shift, the pressures to “do something” about the quality of US healthcare seem likely to rise. 

Similarly, while about 60% of Americans are consistently satisfied with the cost of their own health care, only about 20-25% are satisfied with the total cost of health care for the country.

American_Doubts_about_Health_Care-_Graph_1.jpg

 Similarly, while about 60% of Americans are consistently satisfied with the cost of their own health care, only about 20-25% are satisfied with the total cost of health care for the country.

American_Doubts_about_Health_Care_-_Graph_2.jpg

Perhaps the most interesting pattern in these survey results is that while about 60-65% of the over-55 age group view US health care quality as “excellent” or “good,” while the the satisfaction of younger health care groups with the quality of US health care seems has been diminishing for the last decade or so. Unless the opinions of younger Americans about US health care undergo a substantial shift, the pressures to “do something” about the quality of US healthcare seem likely to rise.

American_Doubts_about_Health_Care_-_Graph_3.png

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Timothy Taylor

Global Economy Expert

Timothy Taylor is an American economist. He is managing editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, a quarterly academic journal produced at Macalester College and published by the American Economic Association. Taylor received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Haverford College and a master's degree in economics from Stanford University. At Stanford, he was winner of the award for excellent teaching in a large class (more than 30 students) given by the Associated Students of Stanford University. At Minnesota, he was named a Distinguished Lecturer by the Department of Economics and voted Teacher of the Year by the master's degree students at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Taylor has been a guest speaker for groups of teachers of high school economics, visiting diplomats from eastern Europe, talk-radio shows, and community groups. From 1989 to 1997, Professor Taylor wrote an economics opinion column for the San Jose Mercury-News. He has published multiple lectures on economics through The Teaching Company. With Rudolph Penner and Isabel Sawhill, he is co-author of Updating America's Social Contract (2000), whose first chapter provided an early radical centrist perspective, "An Agenda for the Radical Middle". Taylor is also the author of The Instant Economist: Everything You Need to Know About How the Economy Works, published by the Penguin Group in 2012. The fourth edition of Taylor's Principles of Economics textbook was published by Textbook Media in 2017.

   

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