Support for government guarantee of healthcare hits record low


In 2007, 64 percent said the government had a responsibility to ensure that all Americans have access to healthcare, which fell to 50 percent during the grueling healthcare debate of 2009 and 2010 until finally slipping below the halfway mark in the latest survey.

The drop has mostly come from Republicans, Gallup said. Thirty-eight percent of Republicans said in 2007 that healthcare access was the government's responsibility, down to just 12 percent now.

Most voters in the Gallup survey have never believed the government should provide healthcare benefits — only that it should guarantee access to some form of coverage. Support for a system based on private insurance is roughly unchanged.

Americans are deeply unsatisfied with the U.S. healthcare system, and they have been for years. The latest survey found that 69 percent of Americans think the healthcare system is in a state of crisis or has major problems, down slightly from its peak of 73 percent in 2010.

But asked specifically about the quality of healthcare coverage in the U.S., 41 percent said it's "good" or "excellent" — a record high. 

Sixty-two percent gave high marks to the quality of healthcare in the U.S. The U.S., though, spends far more on healthcare than than other industrialized countries, but still has a more unhealthy population.