A decade after Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the majority of Americans believe the country’s health care system is still broken, and almost half say health care costs have gone up and the quality has gone down since the law was enacted.
Recent national surveys conducted by Rasmussen Reports for the Texas Public Policy Foundation show Americans are still dissatisfied with America’s health care system, with more than four in 10 saying Obamacare gave more control over health care decisions to government officials and bureaucrats than patients and doctors.
“The poorly-named Affordable Care Act is a monument of broken promises, so it’s no wonder the majority of Americans are unhappy,” said TPPF’s Director of Right on Healthcare David Balat. “People couldn’t keep their plan or their doctor, they lost access to the kind of care they wanted, premiums skyrocketed, and protections for those with ‘pre-existing conditions’ didn’t improve mortality or keep people from going bankrupt. Instead, Obamacare put the government and the insurance companies in control of people’s health care decisions. The result of the polling shows that people recognize its failure and want something different.”
Highlights from the survey:
- Just one in four Americans say the health care system is working much better after Obamacare; 60% say it is still broken.
- Less than 10% say health care costs have gone down following the passage of Obamacare. While 48% say costs have gone up, 19% say they have stayed the same.
- While 62% say the quality of health care has gone down (26%) or stayed the same (36%), only 21% say it has gone up.
- And 44% say Obamacare gave more control to government officials and bureaucrats. Just 26% say patients and doctors were given more control.
- A full 60% of respondents say there should not be a national mandate requiring every American to buy traditional health insurance. Only 20 percent say there should be such a mandate.
Four times as many Americans say that giving more control to patients and doctors would improve the health care system over giving more control to government officials (67% to 16%). When asked about policies that would give patients and doctors more control, a majority of Americans chose:
- Requiring the cost of all medical services to be disclosed in advance.
- Increased use of telemedicine visits.
- Requiring insurance companies to disclose in advance whether they cover someone’s prescription medicine.
- Giving consumers a choice between expensive insurance that covers almost all medical costs and less expensive insurance that only covers major medical costs.
- Expanding the list of items and services patients can use with their health savings accounts.
The policies a majority of Americans said would give government more control were:
- Requiring everyone to get health coverage through the federal government.
- Financial assistance for low-income Americans.
- Requiring all Americans to use health insurance programs such as Medicare that are run by the federal government.
The polls surveyed 1200 registered voters on August 13-15 and August 20-22 and has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent.