POST Online Media Lite Edition


Healthcare surges as top problem in U.S.

Staff Writer |
Americans became much more concerned about healthcare this month, with 18% naming it as the most important problem facing the U.S.

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Mentions of healthcare tie with mentions of "dissatisfaction with government/poor leadership" at the top of the most important problems list.

This is the highest percentage mentioning healthcare since November 2013, amid the troubled rollout of the government healthcare exchanges.

These results are based on a Gallup poll conducted May 3-7, in the midst of the House vote on the American Health Care Act, the replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act.

That vote followed a failed effort in the House in March to bring the original version of the bill to a vote. The Senate will now act on the healthcare legislation.

The percentage of Americans naming healthcare as the most important problem hit a recent peak of 26% in August/September 2009, amid angry town-hall meetings nationwide about the Affordable Care Act.

Mentions of healthcare averaged 20% from August 2009 through March 2010, when President Barack Obama signed the bill into law. After that, fewer Americans cited healthcare as the most important problem until the exchanges got up and running in late 2013.

As concerns about the Obamacare website increased, the percentage naming healthcare as the most important problem was often in the teens.

Still, mentions of healthcare are lower than they were in the mid-1990s, during the Hillary Clinton-directed push for universal healthcare.

At that point, they reached the upper 20s and low 30s, peaking at 31% in January 1994.

Currently, 24% of Democrats rate healthcare as the most important problem, while 14% of Republicans and 17% of independents say the same.

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