More Dissatisfaction With U.S. Health Care Quality, Access
By Steve Levine


The percentage of Americans dissatisfied with the quality and availability of health care in the nation have reached levels not seen in a decade, according to data the Gallup organization released in late January.

The annual survey of U.S. adults’ satisfaction with the current state of affairs in 22 policy areas found 67 percent “very dissatisfied” or “somewhat dissatisfied” with the “availability of affordable health care,” and 49 percent dissatisfied with the “quality of medical care in the nation.” Those are both higher than any results returned since 2008, when 72 percent were dissatisfied with access and 53 percent were dissatisfied with quality. (Gallup did not ask the availability question from 2009 to 2011, and omitted the quality question from 2009 to 2013.)

The 2019 poll found Republicans and Republican-leaning independents more satisfied with both health care access and quality than were Americans on the Democratic side of the partisan divide.

  • On the quality question, only about 45 percent of Republicans said they were dissatisfied, compared to about 60 percent of Democrats.
  • On the availability question, only about 57 percent of Republicans told Gallup they were dissatisfied, compared to about 73 percent of Democrats.

Among the other 20 issues studied, Gallup found Americans most satisfied with military strength and preparedness (78 percent saying “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied”), and with the nation's security from terrorism (68 percent). Respondents were least satisfied with the nation's campaign finance laws (20 percent) and its efforts to deal with poverty and homelessness (25 percent).

According to Gallup, “Results are based on telephone interviews conducted January 2-10, 2019, with a random sample of 1,017 adults, ages 18-plus, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on this sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is plus-or-minus 4 percentage points at the 95-percent confidence level.”

The satisfaction questions were asked in this format: “We’d like to know how you feel about the state of the nation in each of the following areas. For each one, please say whether you are very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied. If you don’t have enough information about a particular subject to rate it, just say so.”

Last Updated On

February 05, 2019

Originally Published On

February 05, 2019

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Steve Levine

VP, Communication

(512) 370-1380
Steve Levine

A former statehouse reporter, political press secretary, and state agency spokesman, Steve Levine has directed the Communication Division at TMA since 1997. He oversees Texas Medicine, Texas Medicine Today, TMA's media and public relations activities, and the TMA Knowledge Center, website, and social media activities.

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