Who Gets the Blame for High Health-Care Costs
Health Care

Who Gets the Blame for High Health-Care Costs

Drug companies making “too much money” tops the list of factors Americans blame for rising health care costs, according to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll, released Wednesday.

Kaiser’s poll of 1,201 adults asked whether a variety of factors were a “major reason” health-care costs are climbing.  

Nearly 80 percent of those polled said pharmaceutical company profits were a “major reason,” followed by 71 percent who cited fraud and waste in the health care system and hospitals charging too much. Seven in 10 said insurance companies make too much money.

Other key findings from the poll:

  • Nearly 90 percent of Americans say they are concerned about increasing health-care costs for individuals, with 58 percent saying they are “very concerned.”
  • A similar percentage say they are concerned about what the nation as a whole spends on health care, with more than seven in 10 people saying they are worried about increases in spending on government health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid, including 41 percent who say they’re “very concerned” about those costs.
  • Two-thirds of those polled say they are either “very worried” (38 percent) or “somewhat worried” (29 percent) about being able to afford an unexpected medical bill.
  • Most Americans (55 percent) say that President Trump’s public calls for drug companies to lower prices will be “not too effective” or “not at all effective.” Only about 40 percent say they are “very confident” or “somewhat confident” that the Trump administration will be able to deliver on its promise that Americans will pay less for prescription drugs than they pay now. Opinions on how effective Trump will be in lower drug prices are, of course, split along partisan lines.