Americans' Views of Healthcare Costs, Coverage, and Policy

While more than $3.3 trillion, nearly a fifth of the gross domestic product, is spent on health care in the U.S., a study from the West Health Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago finds three quarters of Americans think they’re not getting their money’s worth.

The poll offers new insights into how Americans feel about the costs of healthcare and how they report those costs affect their medical decisions and personal finances. For example, 40 percent say they skipped a recommended medical test or treatment in the last 12 months due to cost, and 32 percent were unable to fill a prescription or took less of a medication because of its cost. It also reveals what Americans think about how lawmakers are handling the issue. About half of Americans disapprove of the way their representative in Congress is handling the cost of health care, whereas just 15 percent approve, and a third neither approve nor disapprove.

The nationally representative survey of 1,302 adults was funded by WHI and used AmeriSpeak®, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Interviews were conducted between February 15-19, 2018, online and using landlines and cell phones.