Poll: Majority says universal healthcare is not government role

Slightly more than half of Americans believe that the federal government is not responsible for providing universal healthcare, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday.

The survey reflects a different national attitude than just eight years ago, when nearly 70 percent of people believed the government should provide healthcare coverage for all.

The shifting viewpoint spans the election of President Obama, who entered office with a pledge to expand insurance coverage. The reversal of opinion suggests a “significant backlash” of the government’s far greater role in healthcare now, Gallup's Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport wrote.


Since Obama passed his signature healthcare law, the number of people who said universal healthcare is not a government role climbed from 41 percent in 2008 to a high of 56 percent in 2013.

That number partly declined this year, which marks the first year after the healthcare exchanges went into effect and millions of people gained insurance for the first time.

Unsurprisingly, people were far more likely to say government should provide healthcare if they supported the Affordable Care Act, which aimed to widely expand coverage though not universally.

Overall, support for ObamaCare remains on par with the president’s low favorability ratings nationally, though a growing number of people have said they are pleased with their healthcare coverage without specifically mentioning the still unpopular law.