Americans' view of US healthcare sours, Gallup finds

For the first time, the slight majority of Americans rate their healthcare quality negatively, with 31 percent rating it as "only fair" and — a new high — 21 percent reporting it as "poor," a recent Gallup poll found.

Gallup conducted telephone interviews between Nov. 9 and Dec. 2 with 1,020 adults ages 18 and older. The findings, published in Gallup's annual Health and Healthcare survey, found a downward trend in healthcare quality satisfaction.

Here are six other findings:

  1. Only 48 percent of Americans rated the quality of U.S. healthcare as "excellent" or "good."

  2. The "excellent" and "good" rating for healthcare quality dropped only two percentage points lower than the rating in 2021; however, it's well below the 62 percent high recorded twice in the early 2010s.

  3. Americans' evaluation of the healthcare they personally received is also at a low, with only 72 percent rated their own healthcare "excellent" or "good." In 2021, the rating was 76 percent and, in 2020, 80 percent.

  4. The initial decline was seen evenly across all age groups until 2022 when it dropped exclusively among adults 18 to 34. Only 53 percent of this group reported being upbeat about their quality of care, versus 72 percent of those 35 to 54 and 85 percent of those 55 and older.

  5. Public satisfaction with healthcare cost and coverage, both personal and national, remained about the same as in previous years.

  6. Americans' perception of the healthcare system as being in a state of crisis has grown 20 percent and is up to 68 percent — the highest since 2013. However, the figure is similar to those in most years between 2002 to 2021.

"Even as they lament the cost, a majority of Americans continue to have high regard for the quality of their own healthcare and healthcare coverage," the report concluded. "Yet even their own healthcare quality ratings are not what they once were. Should these continue to worsen, Americans may be less resistant to rocking the U.S. healthcare boat. That could, in turn, influence the types of policy changes they may be willing to accept in the furtherance of improved public health outcomes."

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