AP Poll Health Care
A woman, who is on oxygen as she recovers from COVID-19, holds the hand of her husband, who also contracted COVID-19, as he is kept alive with the help of an oxygenation machine at a medical center in Shreveport, La, in August 2021. Photo: AP file
health

Americans give health care system failing mark: poll

46 Comments
By AMANDA SEITZ

When Emmanuel Obeng-Dankwa is worried about making rent on his New York City apartment, he sometimes holds off on filling his blood pressure medication.

“If there’s no money, I prefer to skip the medication to being homeless,” said Obeng-Dankwa, a 58-year-old security guard.

He is among a majority of adults in the U.S. who say that health care is not handled well in the country, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The poll reveals that public satisfaction with the U.S. health care system is remarkably low, with fewer than half of Americans saying it is generally handled well. Only 12% say it is handled extremely or very well. Americans have similar views about health care for older adults.

Overall, the public gives even lower marks for how prescription drug costs, the quality of care at nursing homes and mental health care are being handled, with just 6 percent or less saying those health services are done very well in the country.

“Navigating the American health care system is exceedingly frustrating,” said A. Mark Fendrick, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Value-Based Insurance Design. “The COVID pandemic has only made it worse.”

More than two years after the pandemic's start, health care worker burnout and staffing shortages are plaguing hospitals around the country. And Americans are still having trouble getting in-person medical care after health centers introduced restrictions as COVID-19 killed and sickened millions of people around the country, Fendrick said.

In fact, the poll shows an overwhelming majority of Americans, nearly 8 in 10, say they are at least moderately concerned about getting access to quality health care when they need it.

Black and Hispanic adults in particular are resoundingly worried about health care access, with nearly 6 in 10 saying they are very or extremely concerned about getting good care. Fewer than half of white adults, 44%, expressed the same level of worry.

Racial disparities have long troubled America's health care system. They have been abundantly clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Black and Hispanic people dying disproportionately from the virus. Black and Hispanic men also make up a disproportionately high rate of recent monkeypox infections.

Fifty-three percent of women said they are extremely or very concerned about obtaining quality care, compared to 42% of men.

While Americans are united in their dissatisfaction with the health care system, that agreement dissolves when it comes to solutions to fix it.

About two-thirds of adults think it is the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage, with adults ages 18 to 49 more likely than those over 50 to hold that view. The percentage of people who believe health care coverage is a government responsibility has risen in recent years, ticking up from 57% in 2019 and 62% in 2017.

Still, there’s not consensus on how that coverage might be delivered.

About 4 in 10 Americans say they support a single-payer health care system that would require Americans to get their health insurance from a government plan. More, 58%, say they favor a government health insurance plan that anyone can purchase.

There also is broad support for policies that would help Americans pay for the costs of long-term care, including a government-administered insurance plan similar to Medicare, the federal government’s health insurance for people 65 or older.

Retired nurse Pennie Wright, of Camden, Tennessee, doesn’t like the idea of a government-run health care system.

After switching to Medicare this year, she was surprised to walk out of her annual well-woman visit, once fully covered by her private insurance plan, with a $200 bill.

She prefers the flexibility she had on her private insurance plan.

“I feel like we have the best health care system in the world, we have a choice of where we want to go,” Wright said.

A majority of Americans, roughly two-thirds, were happy to see the government step in to provide free COVID-19 testing, vaccines and treatment. Roughly 2 in 10 were neutral about the government’s response.

The government’s funding for free COVID-19 tests dried up at the beginning of the month. And while the White House says the latest batch of recommended COVID-19 boosters will be free to anyone who wants one, it doesn't have money on hand to buy any future rounds of booster shots for every American.

Eighty percent say they support the federal government negotiating for lower drug prices. President Joe Biden this summer signed a landmark bill into law allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. The move is expected to save taxpayers as much as $100 billion over the next decade.

“Medication costs should be low, to the minimum so that everyone can afford it,” said Obeng-Dankwa, the Bronx renter who has trouble paying for his medication. “Those who are poor should be able to get all the necessary health they need, in the same way someone who also has the money to pay for it.”

AP polling reporter Hannah Fingerhut in Washington contributed to this report.

The poll of 1,505 adults was conducted July 28-Aug. 1 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


46 Comments
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Universal healthcare provides the best service for the majority of people. 40 million Americans cannot afford basic healthcare.

In addition, people can still have private healthcare insurance if they want it.

In the UK and other European countries, there are both and in Japan too.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

The problem is not all healthcare is the same in the US. If you have the money then the US has the best healthcare system in the world. If you do not then it can be ranked below some third world countries.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

When it is cheaper to fly to Cuba to get medicine than buy it is the US there is obviously something "rotten in the state of denmark"!

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Healthcare for most Americans is a sorry mess. Employers have to have the insurance but most of the time it's not very good. The biggest problem isn't the 'Obamacare' scare, it's that that word and 'socialism' are scary boogeyman words to get those ignorant Pavlov Dog types to yap their chops all the time. And once again, they can't shut up about it and open their minds.

So many people in the US are like robots. They're fooled by these lippy chumps in the media, believing all they're told. Yet the biggest problem of all is that too many people in the health insurance field just don't want to do the WORK.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I thought Obamacare fixed this?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

The impression I get is there is no healthcare in America.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

KaerimashitaToday  01:14 pm JST

I thought Obamacare fixed this?

Obamacare is not the 'socialized medicine' many people think or say it is. It's not extensive enough but it IS a cornerstone of what America needs. It's a start. TrashTrump wanted to abolish it but we all know he's a racist. He tried to undo everything Obama did. You see, trump and his cohorts are too chicken to admit their racism so they made up birther theories, rumors and tried to undo his achievements because having a Black American POTUS before him is too much to bear.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I thought Obamacare fixed this?

not when the republcians wanted to gut it,

Trumps healthcare plan was due in 2 weeks, that was 3 years ago

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The impression I get is there is no healthcare in America.

affordable healthcare, heathcare debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the US

9 ( +11 / -2 )

If the US had "socialized" healthcare, Michael Jackson would probably still be alive. Also all these universal healthcare counties also have private hospitals where rich terminal patients (including rich Americans who might cross the Atlantic (and in some cases cross the Pacific including Japan) for something exotic and not available in the US) can try to shoot for the moon with desperate and expensive procedures you might see in Star Trek, but more than likely still die.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The involvement of insurance companies in the provision of any countries health care provision is a fundamental mistake. Provision of health care must be centred on need, insurance is based on profit.

Talk about state capture, the insurance/medical industry corrupted and controlled the provision of health care in the USA so long ago that generations have been propagandised in to believing there is no other possible way and any alternative suggestion is “communism” coming to get you. Meanwhile untold numbers of US citizens die of what should be easily treated diseases simply because they have not got enough money to help boost profits.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Been saying this for more than 25 years, the US will need some sort of government healthcare insurance system or the like. Egged to do it now rather than later as the two parties are getting reeled in by the corporations more and more. Voted for the Natural Law Party and Ralph Nader to see this happen. All efforts were squashed by Reps and Dems. Cracks me up to see folks defend and vote for the Dems thinking they will change anything substantial. They are just as joined at the hip to the corporations as the Reps. Anyone who say different is goofy for “the party”.

In October 2000, at the largest Super Rally of his campaign,[49]held in New York City's Madison Square Garden, 15,000 people paid $20 each[50] to hear Nader speak. Nader's campaign rejected both parties as institutions dominated by corporate interests, stating that Al Gore and George W. Bush were "Tweedledee and Tweedledum".

Nothing has changed except the Dems seem to be ramping up the war machine more than I imagined.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

All efforts were squashed by Reps and Dems.

Obamacare did have the public option. Also, they did propose to raise medical compensation to doctors and hospitals for Medicaid claims. Both of those shot down by the Republicans. TrumpCare took it even further backwards because Trump hated Obama because Obama made fun of Trump at the The White House Correspondents' Dinner. Any person, even Trump people living in Japan realize that everyone has to pay for medical coverage. It has to have a real mandate and you can't just "choose" because you think you might never need it then "choose" it later when you suddenly need chemotherapy. The Trump party is anti-mandate and many of these Trump people are old and have Medicare which is a mandate. I don't get it. They don't want a mandate, but are in a system (Medicare) that is mandated.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The for profit American medical scare system is the primary reason I avoid the U.S. as much as I possibly can.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Universal healthcare provides the best service for the majority of people.

No, it doesn't and would never work in the US, especially the way that the Dems are spending money like a drunken sailor to take care of 65 million people. Never will happen.

40 million Americans cannot afford basic healthcare.

Then find a way to fix it for THOSE people that cannot afford it, no need to touch my private insurance, I have a great plan and I don't want to give it up.

In addition, people can still have private healthcare insurance if they want it.

Not quite exactly, the Dems are looking for a way to cancel your private health insurance.

In the UK and other European countries, there are both and in Japan too.

With different population sizes, the amount of debt, hours worked, and time is taken off, what works well in one country doesn't necessarily work well in another.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

The EU with its 27 countries has a population of 450 million and Universal Healthcare.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

One area the US is behind much of the world. No universal health care system. No insurance = turned away and no medical care in many hospitals. Terrible costs for common necessary medications. People buying medicines in Canada or Mexico or online to try to get cheap prices.

Those with millions in the bank or top line health insurance have no problems. For everyone else it is nothing but problems.

I am thankful I live in a country with universal health care and subsidized medicines for many many medications.

The US has a long way to go to get to worlds best practice level of medical care for its citizens.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Ha! Worst medical INSURANCE system in the world. As for medical tech, it's a pretty good one. Just not for not-rich people, which would be more than half the population there.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

No, it doesn't and would never work in the US

We hear this often from you. Sensible solutions won't work in the US. The people of the USA are immune to solutions. We don't want European solutions because we're not European. We want to keep our current inept system in place, because it's ours.

With their chronic health, drugs, violence, obesity, mental and TV-fuelled hypochondria issues it would cost the govt countless billions to implement a sensible solution. This might mean that Americans might have to put public health before an enormous military culture.

The hospitals would be full of folks demanding that doctors fix the things that the they saw on TV last night.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

would never work in the US

Medicare and Medicaid work fine. In fact Medicaid works much better to pay for catastrophic health emergencies then private insurers.

 I have a great plan and I don't want to give it up.

You can't use Medicare in Japan. And you can't give it up until you die. So it should be Medicare for all.

With different population sizes

US has great government computer infrastructure. Some of the best in the world and it will work. I studied Policy Science in university and we went over this.

The hospitals would be full of folks demanding that doctors fix the things that the they saw on TV last night.

Good point. Lots of American patients are stupid and watch too much TV and believe what they see instead of taking a walk or munching on broccoli.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

wtfjapanToday  01:59 pm JST

I thought Obamacare fixed this?

not when the republcians wanted to gut it,

Trumps healthcare plan was due in 2 weeks, that was 3 years ago

Since when can anyone rely on that lying fascist? He had no plan whatsoever. Everything in America was to enhance his bloated stinking ego. He just wanted a 'Trumpcare' at the very best. Everything with his delusions-of-godhood name on it. That's called a personality CULT.

Socialized medicine is not a partisan issue. The Governator Schwarzeneggar tried to impose it for California, and he was in the GOP.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

No, it doesn't

It's funny Trump people who live in Japan say this. If it was so bad I would go back to the US permanently.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The most expensive health system in the world does not equate with the best health care!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

We hear this often from you.

Not just from me, 88% of Americans that have company provided private healthcare insurance.

Sensible solutions won't work in the US.

If you think so, ok…"

The people of the USA are immune to solutions. We don't want European solutions because we're not European. We want to keep our current inept system in place, because it's ours. 

Yes, what works well for one country doesn’t always work well in another.

The hospitals would be full of folks demanding that doctors fix the things that the they saw on TV last night.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/06/29/obamacare-subsidies-expire-disaster-democrats/

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Since when can anyone rely on that lying fascist?

Biden?

He had no plan whatsoever. Everything in America was to enhance his bloated stinking ego. He just wanted a 'Trumpcare' at the very best. Everything with his delusions-of-godhood name on it. That's called a personality CULT.

Ok, passing the usual baseless and meaningless rant, the Republicans never wanted and never should have been duped by the left to get caught in any negotiations on healthcare. If Obama wanted to provide government subsidized healthcare to 30 million people, no problem, the real problem is that the Dems want to cancel out private healthcare insurance as well and if Obamacare were so great then why is that none of these Congress people in Washington use it?

Socialized medicine is not a partisan issue.

Yes, it very much is.

The Governator Schwarzeneggar tried to impose it for California, and he was in the GOP.

He had no choice, he worked with an all Democrat legislative assembly, not to mention, Arnie is nowhere anywhere close to being a conservative, never was.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

The majority of Americans support Universal Healthcare. More than 60% or 7-out-of-10.

The vast majority of Americans, 70 percent, now support Medicare-for-all.

With Universal Healthcare employers are paying a contribution.

88% of Americans that have company provided private healthcare insurance.

156,199,800 Americans, or around 49 percent of the country’s total population, receive employer-sponsored health insurance (also called group health insurance).

Gains in healthcare coverage under President Obama began to reverse under President Trump. The CDC reported that the number of uninsured rose from 28.2 million in 2016 (the last year of the Obama Administration) to 32.8 million in 2019, an increase of 4.6 million or 16%.

Approximately 5.4 million Americans lost their health insurance from February to May 2020 after losing their jobs during the COVID-19 recession.

Lose your job, lose your health plan.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

RedstormToday  12:14 pm JST

The majority of Americans support Universal Healthcare. More than 60% or 7-out-of-10.

The vast majority of Americans, 70 percent, now support Medicare-for-all.

Oh, so no problem, if this is true, as America is a democracy, so the people will vote for that change.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

The majority of Americans support Universal Healthcare. More than 60% or 7-out-of-10.

The vast majority of Americans, 70 percent, now support Medicare-for-all.

With Universal Healthcare employers are paying a contribution.

The left keeps saying that and yet, it was never implemented because if they did, the country would become another Venezuela. Again, over 80% of Americans that have and use their employee or private insurance don't want the left to go anywhere near it and are happy with theirs.

Gains in healthcare coverage under President Obama began to reverse under President Trump. The CDC reported that the number of uninsured rose from 28.2 million in 2016 (the last year of the Obama Administration) to 32.8 million in 2019, an increase of 4.6 million or 16%.

If this thing is so good then why NO ONE in congress or their families are using it? They wouldn't and know they wouldn't.

Lose your job, lose your health plan.

So who's going to pay? I don't want to pay for someone or anyone else except my own family.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

So who's going to pay? I don't want to pay for someone or anyone else except my own family.

In Japan? Everyone pays. Premiums are also cheaper pretty much for the same stuff as in USA. In Japan you are forced to pay

2 ( +2 / -0 )

bass4funk

you do not have employer healthcare since you are self-employed. You also pay into the Japanese health system for yourself and your family.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

bass4funkToday  01:41 pm JST

So who's going to pay? I don't want to pay for someone or anyone else except my own family.

If everyone contributed a bit towards universal healthcare it would likely work out cheaper anyway.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

you do not have employer healthcare since you are self-employed. You also pay into the Japanese health system for yourself and your family.

Let's see, living Japan while paying for health insurance in both USA and Japan. If you are a self employed upper earner in Japan you will pay around 1,000,000 yen per. And if you are self employed in the USA you (adjusted for USD-- JPY exchange) pay at least 1,500,000 yen per year. That comes to about 2,500,000 yen per year to pay for both US and JP health insurance. Who on earth would do that?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

painkiller,

Oh, so no problem, if this is true, as America is a democracy, so the people will vote for that change.

Is there going to be a national, one-issue referendum? Those results will indeed be interesting.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

RiskyMosaicSep. 16  07:39 pm JST

Is there going to be a national, one-issue referendum? Those results will indeed be interesting.

Cannot happen. But if anyone needs emergency medical care in the US hospitals will provide it at no cost to that individual.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Cannot happen

So your point doesn't stand.

But if anyone needs emergency medical care in the US hospitals will provide it at no cost to that individual.

Up front, maybe. But a bill will come along soon after.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

RiskyMosaicToday  08:08 am JST

Cannot happen

So your point doesn't stand. 

How doesn't my point stand? There can't be a national referendum.

But if anyone needs emergency medical care in the US hospitals will provide it at no cost to that individual.

Up front, maybe. But a bill will come along soon after.

Why would there be a bill for something provided at no cost?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

National referendums in America. There is no referendum law and therefore not binding.

Treatment in an ER is limited to providing emergency treatment only. Maybe a public hospital might provide a little more.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Total Expenses for All U.S. Hospitals $1,213,881,001,000

Expenses for Community Hospitals $1,102,282,383,000

5 ( +6 / -1 )

How doesn't my point stand? There can't be a national referendum.

So there will never be a vote on the single issue of universal healthcare. And if you think that national elections are decided on single issues, then you have some reading to do.

Why would there be a bill for something provided at no cost?

There's a cost to the hospital. Or are American hospitals in the habit of giving away free health care? Awesome. Next time I have a cold I'll go to the emergency room and be treated for free.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

RiskyMosaicToday  08:41 am JST

So there will never be a vote on the single issue of universal healthcare.

That's the way it works in the US. Happy though you relied on me for that info.

And if you think that national elections are decided on single issues, then you have some reading to do.

But I don't think that. And so I don't have some reading to do. You misread something I guess.

There's a cost to the hospital. Or are American hospitals in the habit of giving away free health care?

I don't know. That's a different issue. I only mentioned emergency treatment.

Awesome. Next time I have a cold I'll go to the emergency room and be treated for free.

Good luck. You'll learn about triage too.

I think you have some reading to do.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

That's the way it works in the US. Happy though you relied on me for that info.

And if you think that national elections are decided on single issues, then you have some reading to do.

But I don't think that. And so I don't have some reading to do. You misread something I guess.

Thanks for clarifying why your point made no sense.

I only mentioned emergency treatment.

Free emergency treatment? Sounds like socialism to me.

You'll learn about triage too.

And be charged for the consultation, although emergency treatment, which triage is a part of, is free, apparently.

"But Doctor, this IS an emergency. I am immuno compromised, and a cold could kill me, so admit me, medicate me and treat me for free!"

3 ( +4 / -1 )

RiskyMosaicToday  10:05 am JST

Thanks for clarifying why your point made no sense.

I'll be even clearer---you misunderstood a basic sentence.

Free emergency treatment? Sounds like socialism to me.

Me too.

And be charged for the consultation, although emergency treatment, which triage is a part of, is free, apparently.

There's no consultation in the ER.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

There's no consultation in the ER.

I hope you're not a doctor.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

RiskyMosaicToday  10:39 am JST

There's no consultation in the ER.

I hope you're not a doctor.

ER doctor to unconscious automobile accident patient:

"Well, Mr. Wigglesby, how often do you exercise? Are you taking any medications? Do you have any allergies? How long have you felt like this? When was your last check-up?"

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

ER doctor to conscious patient:

I've no need to actually examine you, I'll just guess at a diagnosis and prescribe treatment and medication by simply throwing this dice. Ah ha! You have a ruptured spleen. Nurse! Get this patient to an operating room immediately!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Well, Mr. Wigglesby, how often do you exercise? Are you taking any medications? Do you have any allergies? How long have you felt like this? When was your last check-up?"

"Vital signs and visual injuries? No need to actually examine the patient, nurse. I'll just guess. Um, quick! Remove this patient's appendix and give her a xanax."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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