HealthDay News — Most Americans now support aggressive regulation to keep health care 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 between Oct. 14-16 among 2,072 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 three of every four 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’d 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 health care system as a whole. Only 36% put a lot of blame on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for health care prices, but responses differed widely based on political party. About 65% of Republicans blame the ACA, making the federal health care 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.