PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) released a new survey of adults across the nation that helps illuminate consumers' experiences with healthcare costs, perceptions of who is to blame, appetite for change and views on a range of potential policy reforms. The poll shows significant bipartisan consensus on ideas to make healthcare more affordable. All of the policy ideas tested in the online survey achieved a majority of support from a bipartisan group of respondents, including:
Put limits on what drug companies can charge for specific drugs that save lives or that millions of people use to treat lifelong health conditions like diabetes. (89%)
Prevent drug companies from blocking cheaper generic drugs from being sold in the US. (86%)
Put limits on the prices that hospitals can charge for services. (85%)
Allow the government to negotiate lower drug prices for employers and consumers. (84%)
Put limits on the prices that doctors can charge for services. (81%)
Eliminate health insurance deductibles and co-payments so that people don't have to pay more to use their health insurance. (80%)
The report notes that a majority (52%) of respondents want big, fundamental changes to the health system. When asked to choose the three most effective ideas to reduce costs, the policies that received the most support included: limits on charges for prescription drugs (44%), preventing drug companies from blocking cheaper drugs (41%) and Medicare-for-All (34%).
The survey also found:
80 percent of respondents, including most Republicans (61%), believe it is the government's responsibility to ensure healthcare is affordable.
Respondents of color expressed the most worry about healthcare costs, while individuals with the lowest incomes (and greatest needs) report feeling most harmed by high costs.
"This study reinforces the fact that healthcare affordability is both an economic and racial justice issue that transcends political ideology. As costs rise, access to high-quality health services grows further out of reach for low-income people, who are disproportionately people of color, which results in gaps in insurance coverage and worse health outcomes," said Avenel Joseph, VP, Policy, RWJF. "Lowering the cost of care is not only a critical step for reducing health disparities and narrowing health inequalities, it's one of the most crucial steps policymakers can take to advance health equity in this country."