Health Care Reform is a Top Issue Concerning Americans

According to the latest wave of KJT Group’s LightSource Poll, American adults are divided in their perceptions of the top issue facing the United States today. Choosing from a set of 12 items, 18% ranked health care reform as the most important issue, followed by terrorism (17%) and government effectiveness (12%). Focus has shifted since 2014, when terrorism, unemployment, and the national debt were most top-of-mind.

There is a partisan divide in the ranking of the top issue facing this country. In 2017, health care reform is the top issue among Democrats (23%) and terrorism is top for Republicans (24%). Health care reform was ranked as the top issue by only 13% of Republicans.

Only 1 in 10 American adults are very or extremely satisfied with the United States health care system and just 3 in 10 are similarly satisfied with their health plan, with no differences between Democrats and Republicans. Health care costs are a burden to many Americans, with more than one-third (35%) reporting their health insurance premiums increasing in the last 12 months and almost half (48%) expecting their out-of-pocket health care costs to increase in the next 12 months.

In a new series of questions ascertaining the importance of achieving the seven tenets of the Trump administration’s original health reform plan, most were strongly supported (rated very critical or extremely critical) by at least one-third of all respondents. Of note, information that the ideas were associated with the Trump administration were not revealed to respondents.

In a follow-up question, we asked what best describes their current opinion of the Trump administration’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. Only one-third (32%) felt somewhat or extremely positive about the plan, driven primarily by registered Democrats (14% feeling somewhat or extremely positive compared with 65% of Republicans and 27% of Independents).

Information challenges coupled with strong partisan support is evidenced by our findings. Despite relatively strong, bilateral support on numerous dimensions of health care reform, attaching those ideas to the Trump administration seemingly is unacceptable for some constituents.

The LightSource Poll was conducted among 1,000 United States residents (18 years or older) between August 2 and August 7, 2017 and September 24 and September 30, 2014. These were non-probability, stratified samples, collected via web-based interviews. As such, margin of error cannot be accurately estimated. The LightSource employs stratified sampling, focusing on key factors such as age, gender, household income, and U.S. geographic region to help ensure national representation.