Majority of Americans Favor Keeping Healthcare Costs in Check

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Most Americans want to rein in healthcare costs.
Most Americans want to rein in healthcare costs.

(HealthDay News) — Most Americans now support aggressive regulation to keep healthcare costs in check —including price caps on drugs, medical devices, and payments to doctors and hospitals, a new HealthDay/Harris Poll has found.

The HealthDay/Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States from October 14 to 16 among 2072 adults. Figures for age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, region, and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

Nearly 3 of every 4 Americans (73%) want price controls placed on manufacturers of drugs and medical devices, the poll revealed. That's up from 64% who favored such controls in a 2014 poll. 

A majority also said they would favor importing cheaper drugs from other countries and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. 

About 62% put significant blame on insurance companies, and 53% put substantial blame on the healthcare system as a whole. 

Only 36% put a lot of blame on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for healthcare prices, but responses differed widely based on political party. About 65% of Republicans blame the ACA, making the federal healthcare reform law their top target. Just 13% of Democrats blame the ACA.

Regarding specific proposals for containing the cost of care, the poll found that 73% support price controls on drug and device manufacturers; 70% would like price controls placed on hospitals; 66% want to authorize Medicare to negotiate drug prices; 63% support price controls on payments to doctors; and 56% want to be able to import less expensive drugs from other countries.

Reference

  1. Thompson D. Poll: Americans Want Bold Steps to Keep Health Care Costs in Check. The Harris Poll website. http://www.theharrispoll.com/health-and-life/Americans-Want-Health-Care-Costs-in-Check.html. November 5, 2015. Accessed November 13, 2015.
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